Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Why I Love My Daughter-in-Law

“Can I come by?” she asked on a Saturday morning. “I have something for you.”

“Now? Sure! I’ve been working outside and I’m just cleaning up a little in the kitchen. It’s a great time.”

Moments later she was there, empty-handed. We hugged, but she laughed when she saw my puzzled face and said “it’s outside by your back gate.”

We walked back together, and there it was, just what I wanted:

She bought me a compost-maker!

I’ve got diamonds. I’ve got pearls. I’ve got everything I need to decorate myself and my house, too much even. But what I don’t have – or I didn’t until now – was a compost maker. This girl knows how to thrill my heart.

We spent a few minutes reading the instructions and putting it together. Wooo HOOOOO!

Don’t you hate to waste? I’ve been throwing out carrot peelings, and onion skins, and salad mix that’s gone a little gooey in my refrigerator, my coffee grounds, my newspapers – they are all fodder for making good compost, and good compost is desperately needed when your yard is greatly sand. Wooo HOOOO! Now, I can make my own compost!

I totally love it.

I decided to cut back this year, not to try to grow so many tomatoes and so many peppers. I don’t know what happened, but I had ordered some seeds, and I couldn’t let them go to waste, and I bought a couple tomatoes that are supposed to do well in this area, and we still have many nights with temperatures lower than 70 degrees (F) so I can still hope to have good tomatoes before the great heat sets in for the summer. Some people tell me that if I can keep the tomatoes going through the summer, just green, not setting tomatoes, some of them will start setting tomatoes again once the weather starts cooling once again. I also learned that the time to start your seedlings in Florida is like January or February, to get good tomato crops before the heat starts, so I got started about a month too late. On the other hand, they are doing great. We shall see.

This is what ‘cutting back’ looks like:

I found the Black Krims at the 14th Annual Emerald Coast Garden Show at the PSC Campus in MIlton last weekend. Mr. B’s Tomatoes was right where I bought them last year, and it was my first stop. I also bought one he said would also produce well for me, called Tommy Toe. It’s a weird name. Tomato people often give their tomatoes weird names.

My roses are growing like crazy, unfortunately, a week before Easter. I wonder if I will have any left to give to the church for the Easter services?

I planted tulips and Iris in the fall; the tulips are coming up but I have yet to see a real tulip bloom. The irises look good – I am thinking they may do well here, and that is a really good thing because I love iris. (I pulled the weed)

Three of my tomato plants have tomatoes on them!

April 17, 2011 - Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, Environment, Exercise, ExPat Life, Experiment, Florida, Gardens, Home Improvements, Living Conditions, Pensacola


  1. So how does the compost maker work ?

    Comment by daggero | April 18, 2011 | Reply

    • You put in kitchen waste – no meat or bones or fish, which attract varmits, but eggshells, peelings, vegetable waste, coffee grounds, etc. which are the “greens’ and then you also add “browns” which are twigs and grass clippings and newspaper, and you also add a little cow manure and water, and then in as little as six weeks, you have compost, which is a rich, earthy mix you add into your soil to hold water and to provide nutrients for your plants. You add the things, stir them well once a week, and then dig the finished compost out the bottom. It’s part of recycling. The Agricultural Extension office had a sale, and she bought them there at a good price. πŸ™‚

      I’ve been wanting to get started, but I didn’t know where to start. She got me started πŸ™‚

      Comment by intlxpatr | April 18, 2011 | Reply

  2. Intlxpatr ;

    Thanks for the information . Two more questions if you please :

    A)The compost maker is basically a big pot that does not run on electricity , is that correct ??

    B) what is the volume of compost produced in a single batch ?

    Comment by daggero | April 19, 2011 | Reply

  3. Good questions, Daggero. πŸ™‚

    It’s a big upside down pot. This one is plastic; traditional composters are on the ground, and you welcome earthworms to help with the breaking down process. I had been looking at ones that are big barrels with handles that you turn – the mix needs to be stirred about once a week. This big pot has a lid on the top that comes off. There is a top piece attached to a base piece about the same size, and there is a door that opens, so you can take the finished compost out.

    The volume depends on the size of your ‘pot’.

    Many serious and experienced composters have more than one, so you can have them at different stages and a continual source of enriched soil, which is what compost is . . . it’s glorified dirt, made out of the decomposition of natural materials, but it has to be the right mix, 1/3 brown, 1/3 green and 1/3 manure (not human or cat or dog) and then water to keep spongy. No meat scraps or fish scraps.

    Here is a great source of information – it is composting in Florida, which will have some things in common with composting in Kuwait, like high temperatures. Composting in Florida

    I’d love it if you would give it a try and give me some feedback on how it works out for you.

    I keep a great big plastic jar with a lid (that I bought in Kuwait πŸ™‚ ) in my kitchen, and it is amazing how quickly it fills. I have to remind myself to use it instead of the garbage, but even laundry lint goes in – imagine!

    Comment by intlxpatr | April 19, 2011 | Reply

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