Gardening ventures, Part 1: Compost and all that Trash

outside 021Here in the new little house on the Lake (capital L ’cause it’s a great one), we have a postage stamp sized yard. Both back and front.  It is seriously dictated by boundaries, easements, cement and structures.  I guess all that is still boundary markings, but now I’ve defined a little better our situation.  Oh yes, we wanted a smaller yard and we now have it.  Our previous acreage-easily said, ’cause it was, would take up a lot of this street.  We’re glad of the smaller yard, and we are learning how to fill in, grow vertical and the exciting part is that we can grow things we couldn’t before. We’re in a warmer Zone 5b area-yay for rhododendrons, holly bushes and more I’ve not discovered yet. Okay, we haven’t put those things in, but neighbors have and it’s great to see.  We do have a Wisteria arbor that I fell in love with upon sight…now I’m learning to prune, trim and tie it to training.

So, back to topic of compost and trash.  With a postage stamp yard and confines, it is not amenable to have the size compost area that I personally can fill, nor is there room without having it too close to the house.  Oh, it’s against village “laws” anyway.  Who wants to see the garbage.  I’ve investigated what the neighbors do-read seeing into their yards from upper story window- and seen what they use.  One uses a round turning version, and another just composts soil from pots used during the year, so, no true kitchen garbage in that one.  What to do…well, I have thought of a couple of things, and so far am saving tea bags-thanks to daughter-in-law who reminded me-duh!, used coffee/filters from the Co op I volunteer at, egg shells and banana peels left over from DH’s breakfast.  Things dry out on the kitchen counter waiting for me to scatter in the garden.  It’s been great and then…WHAM! summer and warmth and fruit flies galore. Yeah, we’ve had them before with our compost bowl in previous times, but again, smaller kitchen and it seems more intense.outside 015

outside 014I’d read previously about cider vinegar working for the infestation, ’cause they love it, but it didn’t seem to work before. DH threw out saved peels and wet tea bags and we tried a saucer with that Organic Apple Cider Vinegar-yeah, the expensive stuff, and this AM, I checked and it actually worked! Oh, I scattered the dried tea and egg shells before he got “throw out crazy.”    AND, I found a good use for that vinegar who friends swear by for preventing colds etc.  I tried it and couldn’t do it, so now I have a bad cold, but the fruit flies are gone, and I’m gonna start saving tea bags, bananas, egg shells and coffee again!  Okay, maybe not the banana peels quite yet…

outside 025
Cider vinegar, fruit flies and slice of onion

It’s a cyclical thing: organic feeds organic and use organic to fight it. Easy, continuous lesson on how the ecosystem works..I wonder if others are so easily educated, especially after the misunderstanding of how we can affect the world debacle by those in our government…


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