There’s no better friend than a gardening friend. I say that because one good tip from a gardening friend is worth a lifetime in the garden. For example, let’s talk about composting since today’s story is all about composting (and neighborhood raccoons, and a compost smoothie).
A few composting facts you might not know: a layer of compost is as good as a layer of mulch because it can protect the dirt from drought. Another thing: composting fat and animal poop can actually draw animals into your compost pile. And here’s another diddy: you can compost in the Winter, you just need to stop trying to stir it, which cools it down and stops decomposition.
Did you learn anything new? Well if not, then you might appreciate today’s story, Compost Smoothies by Susan DeMersseman which has a great composting story and tip I’ve never tried before. And if you have critters in your compost, you’ll need it!
A Compost Smoothie – Fun for the Whole Family?
This story comes from our archive that spans over 30 years and includes more than 130 magazine issues of GreenPrints. Pieces like these that inject the joy of gardening with kids into everyday life lessons always brighten up my day, and I hope it does for you as well. Enjoy!
A Cutting – Short Selections Sent in by Our Readers
By Susan DeMersseman
I used to feel guilty putting all our food waste—great organic material—down
the garbage disposal. When I got a compost bin from our local county, I started saving fruit and vegetable scraps in a bowl next to the sink and putting them in the bin. That worked fairly well—until the neighborhood beasties discovered it. Soon I was providing a raccoon smorgasbord each evening. Sometimes we had to listen to the horrible squeals of their arguments.
Then one day, as I looked at the bowl full of compostable goodies next to the blender, it hit me: Compost Smoothies! It worked. After I put a cup or two of water in the blender, it almost didn’t matter what else went in—the coffee grounds (with filter), egg shells, fruit and vegetable peels, dead potatoes, even cotton lint from the clothes dryer. My youngsters and their friends were delighted—they loved to make it as “yucky” as possible. They shouted enthusiastically, “Oh, Gross!” And the raccoons shouted “Oh, Darn”!
Poured over the leaves and grass clippings, it doesn’t attract critters and considerably speeds up the pile’s decomposition. The kids became experts, knowing just the right combination of water, paper, and peelings—and the “grosser” the better. Their skill at creating compost smoothies has given them an appreciation of recycling and a greater investment in the garden.
The raccoons may not be happy, but the earthworms are, and our compost is beautiful: fine-textured and rich. Happy kids, happy plants, and unhappy raccoons—it’s the perfect combination. ❖
By Susan DeMersseman, published originally in 2019, in GreenPrints Issue #118. Illustrations by Marilynne Roach.
Did you enjoy this Gardening with Kids story? I love the idea of compost smoothies!