Then there is the compost movement. It has left behind the image of tree-hugging extreme lefties and the tightwad of the year, and become a practice you can find in the average American's home (or apartment thanks to composting worms), college campuses, and even some cities (Madison, Wisconsin has a pilot program to offer curbside composting bins). From trash springs fertilizer for our gardens, flower beds, and lawns.
And in the backyard of our frugal home the two have merged. Thanks to my composting efforts, which are not remarkable really, our children are farther on the spectrum leaning towards simplicity parenting. Here are two illustrations:
- One -- most afternoons when we return from work (me) and preschool (them) we head to the back yard with the compost bucket. I make the daily offering to the pile, adding in any brown source (leaves, trimmings, paper, etc.) and give it a bit of a mix. The kids scamper around running, spinning, climbing the compost heap. No, nothing all that special except the fact that we are outside after school. Sometimes it is 5 minutes, others a half hour. The TV and internet are bypassed, and twigs and other forms of nature become toys.
- Two -- leaves in our home do not keep collected and heaped at the curb. Why give away stuff that will benefit our yard! Our raking this year has been spotty -- cold weather, rain, a mom who works evenings every now and then. But what we have raked was done in large part by our 5 year old. He went at it with a great deal of force, the pile was jumped in a few times, and then moved over to the compost heap. Thanks to those leaves and compost we can take our time gathering them up and putting them in the best spot. No pressure to get them to the curb by the date the city stops its collection. And it is a simple source of play and wonder for preschoolers.
And there you have it, from compost springs simplicity parenting. Frugal on so many fronts. Thanks for reading, and have a great weekend. Oh, and for those not in Madison -- leaves and compost will take on a new challenge because we awoke to a blanket of snow. Hard to say if we'll have a warm spell that returns us to the green, or if it means we'll have a lot more to handle next Spring when winter recedes. Stay tuned.
The view from my office, of snow, through the geraniums that winter in my window. It has amazing Southern exposure. No need for their glory to end with the end of summer -- continue here,
and provide cheer to my clients!