About a week ago I went out to the composter to add the latest bucket full of kitchen scraps. I was horrified when I lifted off the top to find a rat (not a mouse, yes a rat) scurrying and burrowing back down in to the pile. I confess I had gotten a little sloppy and had left one of the two bottom openings off. It is nowhere to be found.
As a temporary solution, I set about making the place less like home for him by boiling all the hot peppers I had in the house and pouring the hot sauce over the scraps. But his presence reminded me that I had been wanting to move the composter to a sunnier location anyway. So today we did just that.
I’m pleased to say there was no sign of my furry friends having taken up residence in the pile. We leveled out a spot in a sunnier part of the yard. We fashioned a temporary cover for the missing slat at the bottom. It took some doing to dislodge the plastic bin from its spot, but we now have fresh, cooking compost, sans rodents, in a much sunnier part of the yard.
This tale reminds me of a rather hilarious set of threads I found at GardenWeb recently in their composting forum. It began “You know you’re a compost junkie when …” Here are some of my favorites.
You know you’re a compost junkie when ….
… when your neighbor's children start giving you their banana peels
… When the temperature of your compost pile is the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning.
. . . when you kill a couple of ants in the house, then carefully scoop their tiny remains into the compost bucket.
… You talk about your worms like they're pets.
… When your spouse tells friends it is okay to come to his funeral but it is best not to stick around for the internment.
… You watch a cooking show and have more interest in the discard pile than the actual dish being prepared.
… When your husband sends you e-mails like this:
From: tiny husband
I wake up to find myself at the bottom of a compost heap. You're dumping coffee grounds on me, your eyes shining unnaturally, and muttering, "Ooooh, he's steaming."