I have been meaning to start composting since we moved to our Sicilian house with a garden. Living in NYC in cramped quarters and no outdoor space, this is one of those things I craved in my dreamy scenarios of a luscious backyard filled with sweet smelling flowers, juicy tomatos and potloads of fragrant herbs.
So what took me so long to finally get my act together (about a year and a half to be precise)??? To give myself a little credit, at least twice over the last year I did spend hours at a time doing on-line searches about making your own compost bin. I was even inspired to make a special trip to Bricocenter looking for the right things to build one with, yet still came home empty handed. I had this fantasy of an attractive container that would add something aesthetically pleasing to the yard, but really had no skills or vision to turn that fantasy into reality. And asking around my local circle I couldn't seem to find anyone who knew anything about composters, nor did I come up with any Italian on-line shops.
Then, two days ago, I recalled a distant memory of a friend of mine who had composted on the terrace of her apartment using nothing more than a plastic garbage can. I watched a video on-line about converting trash cans to composters. Nothing to it, really. I finally came to the realization that it wasn't the container that mattered, but the act of composting itself. And all that was stopping me was a simple garbage can. So the very next day I embraced this project with renewed enthusiasm, bypassed the usual Bricocenter, and used this errand as an opportunity to make a first visit to the new to me fai da te (do it yourself), Alfea, that I had heard about from a friend (LOVE this place!). Within a few minutes of stepping foot in the store, I had located the perfect trash can with tight fitting lid and all. And then as I dragged the garbage can through the aisles towards the check-out line, I stumbled through the gardening section and right into the happiest suprise yet--a not-too-pricey Italian-made compostiera, aka composter bin (I know, now that I know the terminology, I see how easy it would have been to purchase this on-line in Italy, maybe a year and half ago?!?!?). Without a second thought, I switched the trash can for this ready-made composter that fate finally seemed to have brought my way.
Now nestled in a corner by the vegetable patch, the new compster, containing its first mixture of leaves and fruit peels, feels like a long lost buddy who has found his way home. A symbol of an unnecessarily long personal struggle to turn good intentions into reality, when nothing was holding me back other than that extra little bit of oomph sometimes necessary when living in a foreign country.