Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Impossible Bucket

For our old garden, we composted kitchen waste. I kept scraps in a plastic bowl with a lid tucked under the kitchen sink until it was full, then I'd carry it out to my plastic spinning-barrel-style compost bin and drop it in.

I learned something important during this process: plastic no bueno.

The compost bin, though it served its purpose for more than a year, basically broke down under the intense Texas sun. In the end it was barely being held together by black Duck Tape... then the handle on the spinning mechanism broke while I was bearing down on it mid-cycle, gouging my arm. So long plastic compost barrel.

The bowl under my sink never failed per se, but its porous nature lead to a moldy onion smell that sunk in to the very molecules of the bowl and remained with it until it was given to Goodwill with the rest of our junk during our moving purge.

I learned my lesson.

My new compost spot is the most simple and basic setup you can get- sans anything plastic- in a nook tucked away where creatures it may draw will not interfere with human goings-on. It is just a ring of chicken wire held up by stakes, sitting on the bare ground. That's it. Done.

My kitchen waste collection vessel, however, has been impossibly hard to find. Holy cow. When I started my search I was thinking, 'How hard can it be to find something with around a one-gallon capacity that has a lid and is not made out of plastic?' Ha. (I was also looking for something with a handle, which apparently complicated things tenfold)

My biggest hurdle was my budget. I didn't want to spend an arm and a leg. Honestly, I didn't want to spend more than twenty bucks. I started local: big box home improvement stores, farm supply stores, the plant nursery... nothing. What I found was always too big, had no handle, or was plastic.

Then I looked online. I found a ton of possibilities, including bona fide compost pails, but holy cow were they expensive! Shipping alone on some of the stuff I found added up to the cost of the item itself or more. Geeze.

Then I went out with my parents yesterday to a little antique shop, and boom: the impossible bucket, for twenty bucks, waiting for me on a high, high shelf.

I'm not one to brag, but honestly this thing is perfect. I love its character, its colors, the fact that I didn't have to break the bank or have it shipped from Europe... it's perfect. It also checks all the boxes...

Lid: check.
Handle: check.
Not plastic: check.
This makes me want to have fried potatoes and a huge omelette just to have potato peels and egg shells for my bucket, so I can carry it by the little wooden handle out to our compost pile... but I know that's a little extreme... right?


By the way, recognize this dress? How time flies!

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