|Economist featured a high-tech solution in this article (may be paywalled depending on who and where you are). Screengrabbed from Facebook.|
|Screengrabbed from a New York Times article published yesterday. Once again, the aim is to turn the food into compost to be sold, i.e., for money.|
|Here's the picture that tells the thousand words. There is very little trick to composting, supposing you follow a few simple rules as I described in that post. You throw pretty much everything non-protein-based and non-fat-based (except St. Augustine clippings) in the top, wait a few months, and then you shovel really good compost out of the trap door in the bottom. Greater Houston's subtropical climate, with its heat and humidity, is superbly suited to the biological process of composting. |
Good compost is extremely expensive to buy, and every homeowner needs it. Even if you don't grow fruits and vegetables as I do, you will have raised landscape beds somewhere around your suburban dream home. You won't realize good plant health unless you augment the soil with compost. Synthetic fertilizers are not capable of adding necessary organic bulk to your poor quality Houston clay gumbo soil. And mulch alone tends to suck too much nitrogen from the soil as it decomposes.
My only problem at this point is that my gardening and landscaping endeavors have expanded to the point where I need at least one more Earth Machine for the volume of organic waste I am generating, and Earth Machines aren't easy to buy. They are available through Amazon (what isn't?) but as of this writing, the price was four times what municipalities typically charge when they host mass distribution events.
|Unfortunately I accidentally missed the last City of Houston distribution event, which reportedly was held in late 2013. Wildly popular fellow Houstonian Blogspotters Two Men and a Little Farm were wise in purchasing two at one time. Screengrabbed from one of their posts.|
|Old City of Houston announcement, screengrabbed from this site.|
|For those of you who are not familiar with the logistics of composting, typically what happens is that you combine both non-lawn-grass yard waste with kitchen waste. You can accumulate your kitchen waste in any kind of bug-proof container, but the best option I've ever used is this attractive "cookie jar" type offering from Delafield Pottery, shown here in the center of this countertop grouping. Every few days, you just walk your kitchen scrap bin out to your composter and dump your fruit and vegetable waste, rinse and repeat. |
I designed my kitchen (especially the backsplash) around my existing stoneware collection which was hand made by a very skilled potter named Marilyn Farrell of New Brunswick, Canada - I used to import the stuff and she'd personally pack and ship it to me in big wooden crates. Unfortunately Ms. Farrell passed away in 2007, and there my collecting ended. However, Delafield uses a number of glazes which coordinate quite well with my existing collection, as this photo indicates.
Delafield sells out of the Clear Lake Shores Farmers Market and other locations. Mr. D. has mentioned to me that, when he Googles his own products, my blog posts show up prominently in his search results.