Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The bucket has no name

It lives in my garden. I feed it. It's not a plant. Is it a pet?

I talk to the household feline. Okay, lots of folks do that. I also say hello to the mulberry tree growing up through the porch (built around it, since it was here first!). On occasion, I have been known to cheer on some seedlings, thank a tomato plant during harvesting, etc.

"You," I said to the kombucha this morning, "ought to be ashamed. Chilly or not, you know you're supposed to be ready."

And later, to the contents of a curing bokashi bucket, "I've got your bed all picked out. You'll like it."

I'd love to say I got this from my mother, who calls to the measuring spoons as if she expects them to jump up from the drawer, but in fact, I don't much talk to inanimate things. (Except sometimes electronics, but with those, you never know. -G-) I talk to living things.

To plants. And to pets.

Not sure I'm capable of the mental gymnastics necessary to convince myself that the bokashi is really a plant of some sort--though I have no trouble classifying vinegar mothers and komucha SCOBYs as odd but useful "garden" denizens. I know they're not really plants, but close enough in that they contribute to my diet, you see. But none of them are pets, regardless of their tenure here. There's a line. I don't eat my pets, and I don't give my plants names.

Which leads me to a personally very disturbing place: none of the bokashi buckets have names, though some of the designs do. But the grub colony...

Yes, I did catch myself talking to Repulsive today. Nothing earth-shattering, just "How are you doing today?"

For the record, some of the aggregate-bits are settling in for winter, darkening toward maturity but showing no impulse toward upward mobility; others are still just as grubby as ever, though their appetites have slowed with the temperatures; and yesterday, I saw an adult flying around, securely oblivious of the calendar.

Overall, the colony is still very much living up to its name, though it seems to be only the younger sort that truly bother me, the designer-maggot-esque larvae. You know, the useful ones!

My bokashi buckets don't ask nearly so much of me. I don't have to take a deep breath and remind myself not to jump before opening them. They won't die if I leave them in the cold. There aren't animate bits to release out into the world (or not); they won't grow up and leave, or grow up and stay. And I can leave them alone for a week or two without needing to get someone to come in.

(Okay, there's a new demarcation point: pets require more frequent care. In the sense of tending, if not emotion.)

I've been trying to think of Repulsive as a different sort of bucket; not bokashi, not composting, but something in that general area. It's certainly a food digester! But then , the same can be said for the cat.

Sorry, Repulsive. My pet-sitter doesn't do grubs.

No comments: