What's the Big Idea?

I have grand ideas.  They start innocently small, miniscule even.  Then before you know it, the dining room has been transformed into a library and there are potatoes growing in my starter garden, and there are hundreds of fruit flies swarming around the kitchen.  As you can imagine, Tony both loves and hates this about me.

The library?  Amazing.  It is my favorite room, especially in the winter when the kids and I get cozied up in the big chair facing the fireplace.  The potatoes?  Coming along, and I can’t wait to harvest them in about a month!  The fruit flies?  They have invaded our lives, uninvited, and now I must find creative ways to defend my gardening/composting/green project to my husband.

It started in the library.  I was researching “how to start a backyard garden” which led to researching “composting” and then “rainwater catching systems”.  This all stemmed from my jump into the minimalist movement and a journey to simple living.  I wrangled the kids, hopped in the car and drove to the local hardware store on a mission.  We returned home with one large garbage can, one tiny garbage can, and just enough knowledge to get into trouble. 

“New kitchen rules!” I proclaimed.  “From now on, all table scraps will go into the small garbage can – banana peels, apple cores, coffee grounds.  No garbage!  That still goes in the regular garbage can.”

“Ok, Mom!”  The kids were excited to use the tiny little can with the flip-top lid.  It was a novelty.  Tony mumbled, “ok, Mom” under his breath as he rolled his eyes.  I knew he thought this was another one of my “projects”, but he was a good sport.  The kids helped me to drill holes into the large can and we strategically placed it in the backyard where it would get plenty of sunshine and air circulation.

After several weeks of taking the compost out to the large can, I stopped using the small can.  I got busy.  I was distracted.  I was lazy.  I told Tony not to use it until I lined it with a new trash bag (weeks later, and still no trash bag). 

Fast-forward to this past weekend, when fruit flies were pitching tents and building campfires in our fruit bowl, on our countertop tomatoes, and seemed to be all around us.  Nothing was over-ripe or rotten, so I was perplexed.  Where were they all coming from?!  When Tony came down the stairs Saturday morning, he found a deranged woman in the kitchen, Dyson in hand, frantically waving it in the air sucking up the enemy.

“I can’t live like this!  I don’t understand!  And I can’t..stop..itching!!”  I was losing it.

I left the room to gather myself and not five seconds later,

“Dammit, Nik!!”

Now there are different, “Dammit, Nik”s that I have come to differentiate between.  There is the one where my Italian husband is just cranky and looking to vent about something, there is another where the kids are annoying him and he wants me to just scoop them up and remove them, and then there is the one where I have actually done something that has resulted in total chaos and this is why I am no longer allowed to 1. Carry more than one credit card, 2. Sweep up popcorn kernels, 3. Use the garbage disposal and 4. Compost.

Apparently I forgot to mention the composting intermission to Sammy.

One little half-eaten apple sat in the small compost can and had been resting (ahem, rotting) there for weeks.  Probably Twenty-one days.  At least.

Project Compost FAIL.

It is now Monday, and while the swarming traffic has died down, and the little bowls of Fruit Fly Death that I laid out have been filling, the aftermath of this failure is fresh.  I am determined to get this composting thing right, but for now, we are steering clear of the produce aisle.  And I may or may not be researching some new ideas.