I wanted compost to reinvigorate my garden – I found a community that reinvigorated me

Way back in old normal November, I ordered a composter with a surrounding garden bed. Pandemic delays meant it was only delivered in May. It turned out to be a perfect pandemic project.

I live in an inner city suburb that supports street gardens. With the help of environment guru Michael Mobbs I installed the composting unit on the verge out the front of my terrace. Stormwater drainage was diverted from running down the street to under the unit and I planted a little garden of rosemary, parsley, basil, sage and flowers around it.

Compost contributors Niklas Olsson and Julia Di Kang plant mint around Vikki Tennant's compost.

Compost contributors Niklas Olsson and Julia Di Kang plant mint around Vikki Tennant’s compost.

The compost unit can hold 15 kilograms of organic household waste each week. Realising I wouldn’t generate that much and would need more contributions to create compost, I signed up to ShareWaste, via which people can offer or find a neighbourhood composting location. My plan was to first meet volunteers to explain the system and after that they could drop off their scraps whenever convenient. In a few weeks, I had so many offers I had to close my listing.

I enjoyed meeting my contributors, who invariably followed up our first socially distanced chats with ongoing messages. The whole project became a bright light during and beyond the pandemic lows: Dee cycled over with a large bag of scraps in a bike trailer, Indi came from the next suburb with a container of coffee grounds, Samantha used her shredder to add paper to her scraps, Julia was concerned about adding tea bags and Cathy brought over her scraps plus the gift of freshly baked banana bread.

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