I’ve been thinking a lot about trash lately. (Stay with me here.) It all started in the spring, when my stepmom showed me her ginormous outdoor compost bin. I was intrigued until she opened the lid. I have a strong stomach, but the swarming flies, burrowing worms, moldy food and rotting fruit were too much. It looked—and smelled—disgusting. As she calmly turned the compost with a shovel, my stepmom assured me that a few flies were a small price to pay for a steady supply of nutrient-rich compost made from your own kitchen scraps and pounds of waste diverted from local landfills. No less than a dozen flies buzzed around her head as she delivered this lecture.
Two weeks later she sent me an under-counter compost bin to get started. I shoved it beneath the kitchen sink and tried to forget about it, but I started to feel like the bin was silently judging me. Then I began noticing just how many compostable items we casually tossed in the trash each day, and that felt pretty disgusting too. But the flies! The smell! Was I really cut out for this? We also didn’t have a convenient spot for a large (outdoor) compost bin.
So I did what any #MainLineMom would do and signed up for a pick-up service. OK hold your eye rolls and hear me out…every two weeks, the service—called Mother Compost —picks up your compost and takes it to Linvilla Orchards for processing. Each spring, you can register to get back up to 60 pounds of (mature) compost to sprinkle throughout your garden. Mother Compost was founded by local mom Gwenn Nolan, a self-proclaimed “terrible gardener” who tried composting at home while pregnant with her third child but quickly got overwhelmed. (Turning an outdoor compost pile while pregnant is no easy feat, friends.) Her lightbulb moment came when she looked for a pick-up service on the Main Line and realized none existed. She started small, asking ten friends to sign up on a trial basis. Her friends loved the service (and composting!), and one month later, Mother Compost was born.
While Mother Compost has certainly made our compost journey easier and more convenient, I still find plenty of apple cores and banana peels in the trash. (Old habits die hard, I guess.) I do a lot of nagging, and my middle daughter has nicknamed me the “Compost Police.” But with our family averaging over 50 pounds of compost every two weeks, I’ll wear that badge with honor.