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Spotted Dog Farm Blog


Remember the Death Star?  Yeah, that's what we named the composter when we so innocently decided to try composting again.  

We were going to be one with nature.  Good stewards of the land.  Produce beautiful, loamy compost and till the earth.  Sounds good.  Then there's reality - what we really did was create Candyland for... the Black Soldier Fly larvae.

I'm not even joking.  And here's the really crazy thing - it means we hit the composting jackpot.  Like you're *supposed* to want your composter so full of these things that it seems reasonable to wonder if they're forming a plot to take over the house.  

They're fairly miraculous - they can eat A LOT of food scraps.  As in, we've put all of our food scraps into it for the past 6 months, and the amount of food in it has actually decreased every day since they showed up.  And, according to an article on the subject, they can process anything except mammal bones.  Which is a relief - at least they'll leave my bones when they make a move for the house.  

But, as gross as they are - and they're gross - they're also wildly efficient.  So we decided it was time to make the best of it, and rather than trying to eradicate them we named them.  Marge.  You know, like Marge the Maggot.  (Although Greg the Grub might've been an easier sell.)  So now every night we're like "who wants to go feed Marge??" I rarely volunteer.

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Compost Soup

Did you know giant tumbling composters produce a disgusting brown liquid known by the innocuous title "compost tea"?  (Genius rebranding, by the way.) Yeah, me too.  I mean, I kind of knew it, in a theoretical sort of way, but I didn't really KNOW it until my white dogs came in the house yesterday with perplexing drip lines of brown noxiousness all over their heads.  And just their heads.  Like they had found a sewage spill and managed to have it just... sort of... drip... on their head.  WTH?

Well, after some observation of the poodles, I'll tell you what the hell.  It turns out compost tea isn't just delicious for your house plants, it's also tantalizing to the family pets.  So they stood under the drip spot and alternately licked the grass (hence the drips on the head), and licked the composter (hence their need for an emergency trip outside in the middle of the night.)  

So the composters that bragged that they collected the compost tea - yeah, those are sounding better.  

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The Death Star

I just put a silicone mold into Xylene to expand (because, yay!, we're going to have size large (and small) bangles that are the exact same shape as the regular ones!  Because I've figured out how to shrink and expand silicone molds thanks to  Mad scientists unite!).  Anyway - I just put the mold into Xylene, which smells horrible and is only used outside, and I looked up and saw the Death Star and it made me laugh.  If anything is emblematic of our move back to the farm, it's the Death Star.

That's what Clark calls our new fancy tumbling composter.  Sam and I put the beast together during a couple of snow days, and it was way more of a commitment than I was ready for.  We had to pre-drill *70*  holes.  Some of which were in metal.  I mean, in what universe does "some assembly required" adequately describe that?  But we used some foul language (me), and ninja-like instruction reading (Sam) and persevered and it finally came together.  

Prior to the Death Star, when we were still living within a mile of downtown Asheville and my dad was still living on the farm, we actually just paid a company to come pick up our food scraps and ever-so-discretely turn them into compost.  It was like magic.   And prior to that we got a big rectangle composter thing, and threw shit into it with wild abandon and no thought whatsoever (entire newspaper? go!  old bouquet of flowers? sure!), and then we put it in the shade and never remembered to turn it, and so after a few months we had... a giant container of random scraps, still in their original form.  That's when we started paying people to do it.

But when we moved back here, there's no one to discretely turn your scraps into compost.  Thus enters the Death Star.  And look - I'm doing it right!  That's a wheelbarrow of old hay from the barn, so I'm legit trying to follow directions on how to make compost this time. Fingers crossed the Death Star produces something useable, because I'm going to be pretty disappointed if my old orange rinds are still staring back at me in the spring.

And for those of you wondering about the larger bangles and Xylene - I'll report back on that one too once it comes to fruition.

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