The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind.
It has been crazy windy here in Los Angeles over the past couple of days. Fallen trees have caused serious damage, and thousands of people across the region have seen their water and power knocked out. The one silver lining? All of the dry leaves that have come down with the wind are a perfect addition my wet compost.
We don’t have a large deciduous tree on our property, so I lugged my rake and bin up the street and started gathering leaves off of the sidewalk. Word to the wise: Ask your neighbors before you take leaves that have fallen from their trees: They might compost or mulch them, too. I see so much mow and blow action every day on our street, I never even considered that the cute little old lady whose leaves I was gathering might be mulching in her backyard. She came out in her robe and slippers and very politely asked me what on earth I was doing. I suppressed the urge to say “community service.” Luckily, my friend Steph had loads of leaves for the taking, as her compost bin is full to the brim.
I got my city-subsidized compost bin late last March, and it’s been a little over eight months since I started trying to turn my kitchen scraps into compost. A few more months, and I’ll able to start adding this nutrient rich fertilizer to my garden. If you need extra browns for your compost pile and don’t have dry leaves available, you can also use high carbon materials such as shredded cardboard, newspaper, and paper bags, fruit waste, peanut shells, pine needles, sawdust, straw, and vegetable stalks.