So here’s the question for the day, people: can I turn a compost tumbler that’s a great fit for someone who’s almost two feet taller than I am? Let me explain.
Just yesterday afternoon I closed a deal with Chris of Backyard Gardening Blog to review what he modestly calls the World's Greatest Organic Compost Tumbler. Now, my first reaction to most offers is to say no, absolutely not, but, well, Chris made me an offer I couldn’t refuse: he’d give me a tumbler in exchange for an honest review, a promise not to sue him if it turns out that I can’t rotate the thing, and my next child. This decision required careful consideration, but after about three seconds I went with the tumbler. (Please don’t tell him I’m 55 and past all that childbearing business.)
Think about it—he’s giving me a tumbler! If you remember the pictures of my compost pile from last fall you will have some idea of my excitement. Heck, I’d have promised him two non-existent babies. And really, he just wants a straight review. So I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of the largest box ever to land on my doorstep.
I’m also doing my sit-ups and push-ups; when Chris heard how tall I am (or am not, as my kids would no doubt remind me, and the number, in case you're wondering, is four foot nine) he was reluctant to consign one of these items to my care. After all, he likes this composter because at 6’5” he doesn’t have to break his back bending down to turn it. In an effort to reel him back in I made a few somewhat extravagant statements about being the strongest person under five feet tall he’s ever met, unless he hangs out with gymnasts or with my older sister, who does an hour of aerobics every day after riding her bike 12 miles home from work.
I also assured him that others in the household would help out with turning the thing if jumping off the garage roof onto one side of failed to set it spinning. I am nothing if not dedicated. My husband is totally on board with helping, as long as I try everything possible to turn it myself first: riding it like a see-saw, harnessing the cats up to a set of gears, putting a hook in one side attached to a rope thrown over a branch which I can haul on like a bell-rope to get the motion started, and of course, the leap from the garage roof. We believe in supporting each other. Family values all the way.
As a result of all this, I’m in training so that I’ll be able to turn my compost tumbler.
If that doesn’t strike you as odd, consider this: I have just finished the web’s longest, most drawn-out article on compost, and what am I offered? A composter. You’d think I’d be done with the stuff for a while, but the fates seem to have deemed otherwise.
It’s not just that Chris’s generous offer requires me to write about compost. Jane Perrone, the wonderful Jane of Horticultural, has asked me to write a guest post for the Guardian's Gardening Blog, and what is the subject? Compost. And what am I working on for Eric these days? Compost tea. It’s a good thing I fell in love with the topic and will gladly bend the ear of anyone who ventures within twenty yards.
Anyway, if I want a break from it, I can turn to the little article on three garden wishes that Fine Gardening has asked of me and some dozen other regional garden writers. It’s curiously difficult to come up with the “right” wishes. Of course, I always want more compost to lighten my heavy western clay. I could write about that…or not.