My compost is at 50C, or 130F for those over 40. In other words – it’s hot. As I was turning the steaming pile of stuff, including a healthy helping of sour mash from a friend’s moonshine still, I realized I had a hobby.

I never made model planes as a kid, or built one of those crystal radio things. I had the chemistry set and the microscope – but lost interest pretty quickly. I don’t really collect anything and am pretty casual about sports. I guess I am easily distracted and have a rather short attention span.

But, this dirt thing has got a hold on me. I can talk carbon/nitrogen ratios with the best of them. I’ve been down at the beach collecting seaweed, gathering up the straw from the chicken coop, I even contemplated mowing the lawn in February just so I could use the clippings. It’s on the verge of an obsession. Some guys keep their fishing holes secret – well I’ve got a stash of manure that I don’t want too many to know about.

All that said, I think I should have picked something a bit more conversation worthy. I tend not to wow ‘em at the cocktail party. “horse is ok, but whatcha really want is cow shit, they got two stomachs see…” Um, how ‘bout them Canucks?

I realize that my messing around with garbage is no ship in a bottle, but digesting crap is a means to an end. Eight weeks from now, I’ll be sifting the finish product like I’m panning for gold.

There is a metaphor in the pile somewhere, but I’m happy to settle for some pretty darn good tomatoes and cucumbers come July. Now, if I could just get this smell off my hands…