Monday, September 30, 2013

Root Vegetables & the Compost Bin

I made some roasted root vegetables for dinner the other night. Everything from the garden: potatoes, onions, carrots, beets, garlic. By the time i finished peeling and chopping, slicing and dicing, i had 2 quarts of compost. (Carrot fronds take up a lot of space.)

I also wound up with about 2 quarts of dinner.

Out in the compost bin, i can almost see the pile compacting. The bin was totally full in July with fresh green pachysandra leaves; now it's sunk and compacted, so that it's about a foot from the top. Every day i add another quart or two of kitchen waste, but at this rate, the bin never fills up.

Meanwhile, one of those 2 quarts of dinner is still in the refrigerator. The missing quart disappeared into our mouths and is wending its way through the digestive systems of my sweetie and me. This "compaction" process is much shorter--about 12 hours for him and 24 hours for me. The end product is almost unrecognizable, and it has a totally different name from "roasted roots" or "dinner," so i mostly fail to notice the relationship.

The fruits (or vegetables) of the earth go into my body via my mouth, are "composted" by the heat and metabolism of the body, and exit via the rear door. The "solid waste" returns to the earth from which it came via another circuitous route of pipes--toilet to PVC pipes to sewer (or septic tank in my case) to waste treatment (ahem) plant and then back into the streams and rivers of nature.

By this time, we've totally lost interest and thus fail to see the whole ecological cycle that binds us together with people downstream from us.

Mindfulness is about paying attention and maintaining our interest and curiosity, even when the mind wanders off to something more "interesting."

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