Compost Bins are the new TP

My compost tumbler fell apart. It developed a bend and a hole alongside the handle and stabilizer for tumbling. We’ll temporarily combine the contents with the large stationery bin in the backyard, and I’ll look for a replacement.

I like to have a smaller compost bin nearer the house to use in winter. I can fill it all winter long, and then when summer comes I’ll just turn/tumble it now and then to help the contents decompose. When fall arrives and I’m putting the garden to bed, the compost from the tumbler will get layered on top of the raised beds.

Except – none of the usual stores have compost bins or tumblers in stock. Nobody. Nowhere. Not even online.

It seems (I’m guessing here, but just be patient and follow my logic for a bit) that the gardening craze spread like a virus (haha, not funny, I know) this season. One of my favorite seed stores announced on their FB page that they were running into shortages and advised gardeners to order sooner rather than later. Good thing I make a habit of ordering seeds in January.

Let’s see: people panic bought toilet paper, then panic bought baking ingredients like flour and yeast. Pasta shelves went through an empty phase, too. The interest in baking from scratch at home leads naturally to growing food in the backyard, doesn’t it? I thought so. And along with the garden comes the compost. Hence, compost bins are the new TP.

I’m going to hope I can find a small to medium bin or tumbler by September so I can ready it for Season 2: The School Year. I’ll keep monitoring Habitat ReStore, among other places. Readers, where else can I look? What do you recommend?

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(Farm) Market Day?

One loss I’m feeling deeply is the lack of local farm markets. My downtown farm market usually starts at the end of June on Saturdays. The main street of our fair city closes, and the vendors fill several blocks. It’s a wonderful atmosphere; live music, the smell of egg rolls cooking and corn roasting, and all the produce that’s in season. Not this year, thanks to Covid19.

Thanks to Covid19, our downtown farm market will start two weeks later than usual and support about one third of the usual vendors. Live music will not be allowed, and prepared foods will no longer be available. I’ll go, and I’ll buy veggies and fruits to freeze and to can for the winter, but it won’t be the same. Not by a long shot.

Today I drove past Festival Foods, the store that hosts my favorite midweek market in their parking lot on Wednesday mornings. As I got closer, I saw – could it be – a tent! A white canvas top with a point in the middle! Maybe the market was back! Maybe…maybe…nope. Just a fireworks stand. Sigh.

Fortunately, Chuck’s mother, Robin, called and told us of a farmer selling fresh strawberries from the back of his truck. She’d bought some herself, and said they were delicious. I didn’t drive there immediately (it was noon), but I may try tomorrow. Maybe the strawberries will be there again, ready for me. That may be the solution this year: without the usual market, I need to find the independent sellers. It’ll be a little more work, but I can still fill our freezer for the winter.

Readers, is your local farmers’ market still going on this year? If not, what are you doing to get fresh produce for your family?

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Writer’s Block?

Amigo keeps asking me if I’ve blogged recently. It’s not that there’s nothing going on; it’s more like there’s too much going on. Focusing in on one topic seems overwhelming.

George Floyd. The protests he inspired; the riots and vandals that tagged along.

Buttercup. Our sweet bunny, about 14 years old (ancient!), passed on last week. I still expect her to meet me at the bottom of the stairs every morning when I get up.

Covid19. Again. Still. Pandemic hasn’t let up, despite its being relegated to smaller status in the evening news stories.

School. Work from home. How it’s different, both better and not so good.

The ever present garden! Some of the peas haven’t come up; there are blank spots in the lettuce patch. I blame the chipmunk who has taken up residence under one of the boards in the raised bed. Dang pest.

Sports. Amigo and I really, really miss sports. Baseball now, football in the fall – we’re left at loose ends.

Local protests vs. nearby cities vs. larger cities – compare, contrast, consider.

Barbershop chorus! They keep rehearsing in Zoom, but their two biggest fundraisers for the year have been cancelled. What does the future hold?

Meanwhile, I’m watching the world spinning around me and wondering when it will slow down and maybe even stop.

Where to go next? Too many directions, too many important topics in our lives, here at the O.K. Chorale.

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