Gaining Ground

Wondering who I am? I’m Merit Badge Awardee Jane (MBA Jane for short). In my former life

The first time I heard of composting, I was like, whaaaa? Seriously? Talk about bizarre. Then I realized some benefits: If I quit using the garbage disposal so much, I wouldn’t have to deal with my dumb cereal spoons getting caught inside and scaring the living daylights out of me when they make that horrible metal grinding sound. Plus, it’ll be like I am giving back to the earth somehow … which, of course, is very green and eco- friendly of me. I mean, I’m not, like, ready to chain myself to a tree or quit shaving my legs or anything, yet, but still. Progress. Score one for Granola Chick Jane!


So, the first thing I did to earn my Gaining Ground Merit Badge was designate a composting bowl. For a couple days, I just used an old bowl I had lying around, but it started to get a little stinky and putrid, plus I kept getting fruit flies, so I had to go buy a real one with a lid. It almost seemed a waste to buy something for garbage … get it? A waste? HA! I crack myself up. Anyway, I jazzed it up a bit with some leftover glitter paint so it looked cuter on my countertop and matched my whole sparkle theme, and I was good to go.

As I tossed in my organic apple core from my mid-morning snack, I thought back fondly to just a year or so ago, when I wouldn’t have had anything TO compost. You’ve come a long way, baby. Gone are the days of prepared, packaged food. Hello, in-season fruits and veg!

Now, most of my composting materials I actually save up for my chickens. Yes, Toile, Paisley, and Polka Dot are doing quite well, and are enjoying life outside in their wallpapered coop. They spend their days cheerfully pecking around the yard and cackling, and their nights tucked in their roosts. And they do love their organic compost! They really go to town with that stuff. I was, at first, a bit appalled at their barbaric nature. They eat eggshells! I tried talking to them sternly about how nice chickies don’t give in to cannibalism, but they totally ignored my preaching and tried to peck off the sparkles from my pedicure. They really are an unfocused bunch. I feel way more prepared for parenting now that I have my own rebellious teenagers to practice on.

My garbage disposal sits neglected. Oh, every once in a while, I confess, I grind up a lemon just for the pleasing smell. (Compost bin? Pleasing smell? Yeah, not so much)  My cereal spoons no longer fear for their lives. And I’m not that far off from the idea of chaining myself to a tree and tossing out my razors. You know, if the occasion calls for it, of course, and not during shorts season, naturally.

  1. Elizabeth Colvin says:


    Just moved cross country a month ago and last week got my composters up and running. Yes you heard that right compostersssss…..One for making compost tea of course – that is my 8 yr old sons entrepreneurial spirit…to make compost tea..put in his wagon and sell to neighbors! COMPOST TEA…….GET YOUR COMPOST TEA!!! Next….getting the worms started back up! Woooohoooo. How I love not using my garbage disposal!

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