What a load of compost

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This week is National Compost Awareness Week, and I’m being taunted by the latest round of upbeat articles on how easy it is to produce your own, nutrient rich compost while saving on landfill.

It’s been exactly two years since I first installed my Dalek-like composter discreetly round the side of the house. Since then I have zealously fed it every rancid bit of fruit and veg peel, egg shell, tea bags etc. I save these up on my kitchen window in a ‘compost caddy’ which, during the summer months, gives birth to a plague-like swarms of tiny flies which greet horrified friends.

On discovering banana skills or potato peel thrown thoughtlessly in our normal bin, I’ve held family inquests to discover the culprit. I’ve regularly stirred the evil-smelling mixture in the garden; got the boys to collect worms to eat through it; nurtured it with composter accelator; and kept it warm by topping it with an avocado-coloured bath mat my Mum gave me (sorry Mum).

And still, a whole 24 months on, the bloody thing is stubbornly refusing to produce a single drop of anything resembling compost. 7-year-old Louis, who now considers himself something of an expert in farming, is urging me to transfer it to a sunny spot to generate more heat – perhaps next to the patio where we can view it at close quarters while enjoying a summer barbecue. However, the prospect of lifting the thing up and discovering the results of two years’ detritus is less than appealing.

No volunteers so far.