Although Steve and I finally decided it was time to make the leap to making it via a compost pile, that wasn’t going to do us any good as the planting season got underway. We had to come up with an interim solution.
Thanks to a comment from Don and some helpful suggestions from members of the Iowa City Freecycle listserv, I learned the Johnson County Landfill offers compost for next to free. All you need is a truck.
Unfortunately, trucks aren’t free. Nor do we own one.
“Maybe I could line some of our big pots with plastic garbage bags and go get some,” Steve offered. “After all, you said I have the Dirt Car.”
I looked up the information online and learned that, in fact, you can get up to 200 pounds of compost from the landfill for $1.
Yes, I said $1. Now I understand why Don said it’s cheaper to just go get a truckload there than to mess with making it on one’s own.
“Did you have any problems?” I asked when I got home.
“Not at all,” Steve said.
“How much did it cost you?”
“Nothing,” he said. “No one stopped me when I drove in, I followed the signs to the compost pile, I took some out of the pile marked ‘Finished Compost’ and I left.”
This afternoon, as I stood in line at the nearby Earl May Garden Center with a couple of bags of potting soil in my arms, I overheard a customer ask where the compost was.
“Over there by the lightpost in the green bags,” said the store manager, pointing outside. “You pay here, and then just go pick it up and load it in your car.”
I chuckled to myself. If that person only knew what kind of bargain was available across town…but she was already whipping out her credit card, and I didn’t have the heart to tell her.