Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Summertime Cheers: Composting!

There are definite items for me that just scream "SUMMER!" (Maybe in the same way Mel Gibson in Braveheart screams "FREEDOM!"):

-No doubt, for me (& all teachers): The countdown to the last few days of school, & of course, the official last day of school. 

-Memorial Day Weekend = The Gateway to Summer.

-The opening of our backyard, pool--nothing extravagant, but mine!

-Heat! Sun! (Especially after an incredibly rainy Spring).

-Vegetables & fresher, cleaner eating.'

-Time!  (To cut all of those extra veggies! Not to mention, read books and do all those other things I can't quite fit into the school year.)

-Tank tops, shorts, bare feet, & breaking out the non-classroom summer wardrobe.

Today, I had one of those "Summer" moments mentioned above, where it definitively felt like we had arrived.  Chopping some vegetables for some folks who were coming over, I was collecting up the leafy ends of the celery and the centers of the peppers. I was chomping on the ugly carrots that weren't pretty enough to make the veggie tray display. And I was delighting in the fact that I could walk those leafy discards to our backyard compost.  As I told my 5th graders a few weeks ago, I'm the unusual one (the eco-warrior they'd come to know and love) that was tickled pink with the backyard composter that I got this year for Mother's Day.

After nearly 2 years away from the Fort Knox of Compost at my former school, I'd been missing it.

When you have had the 7-year experience of teaching at a mega "green" school where they compost daily... and where I had the infamous "Dabrowka Bucket" of compost that I brought to school weekly for six of those years... this compost-creation of soil had been a part of me.  It was summer salads that had initiated our compost bucket--a 5 gallon green camo bucket that became infamous at our school. I remember the sadness I felt when we learned that the school would be closing.  Yes, it was my home away from home, the safe haven of schooling for my own kids, my place with my people, and a spot where all of us had grown up and grown together. But a part of my melancholy in leaving was also in knowing I'd have to retire my li'l camo compost bucket, which was another huge part of that school & its history for me.

I'd been feeling the last 2 years that I'd been letting the planet down with all of those watermelon rinds and waste-food going to the live in the landfill.  It had pained me a little bit, every time I took another bag of "green" garbage to our trash can.  Paper towels I think were my worst guilty-inducing offender.

But now, thanks to Mother's Day love, I can just walk all that out the back door, deposit my veggie scraps, & smile.

It's the little things in life that make us happy.

Summertime cheers to my veggies, my composter, & the fact that my personal shade of green just got a li'l bit darker!

Images from[term]=braveheart%20freedom&filters[primary]=images; "Compost" lettering from pic from my own camera.

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