Holly and her disciples.
Everybody needs a guru. Someone who is intensely devoted to their path, and can skillfully lead others in their righteous calling. You want them to be wise and kind and clear-sighted. You want them to not make fun of your ignorance. Elmer’s has found such a person, and her name is Holly Westcott. Compost is her religion.
Last year we spent a week collecting all our potentially compostable waste into one place and then approximated it’s volume. Holly took those numbers and designed a compost bin to match. Last week we took delivery of our beautiful new bin, and last weekend we started using it. Composting seems like a lark, but the nuances are deep, dark mysteries to unravel. We are beginning the journey.
Sunday is our busiest breakfast day of the week, and last week was no exception – we fed 168 hungry people, and had the detritus to prove it. At the end of the day, Nan, Danielle, Joey and I stood in front of our new compost bin with the various assortment of inedible compost ingredients and amendments and tried to channel Holly.
(We are still feeding Lauren and Erik’s pigs, by the way – Snortcha and Ham Daddy – but we still have a considerable amount of food-related waste that pigs don’t really want or we can’t fit in their bucket at the end of the day)
Smash up the shells of about 250 eggs – check. Maybe we can mix those with some of the gooier things to get some aeration? What about this pot of cream of mushroom soup? (Sad story, but I won’t make that mistake again – the sherry vinegar and the sherry bottles look really similar when you’re in a hurry, but putting that much vinegar into soup really doesn’t taste good). What about leaves in the soup, and in the grease drawer tailings – will that work? All right – you throw it on, I’ll spread it out. How about a nice layer of coffee grounds and filters before the final layer of straw? Do you think Holly would approve??
Holly came by today, and like any great teacher, gave us both praise and gentle suggestions for improvement. Whatever she says, we will do. Hopefully we are on our way to being one with the compost!