May 31, 2010

Worlds Collide

Usually, explicit overlap between my floral and compost dual identities is limited to a vase of flowers in the ICP office or visiting with the great folks from Stray Cat Flower Farm when then come in to do business.

Not so for this little project, a low-tech evaluation of how well several new "compostable" packing products break down in our piles. The process seemed straight forward enough: contain questionable compostables in plastic mesh onion bags, bury bags in piles, wait a while, retrieve bags, and evaluate their contents to determine the rate of decomposition. The holdup came with that second to last part; turns out finding an onion bag in an industrial scale compost pile is a little like finding a needle in a haystack. So after loosing one bag to the piles and barely finding the rest, we decided the next batch should be tethered together and attached to an above-ground marker.

Amazingly, we didn't have any rope or wire in the shop that would hold up to the heat and microbial activity of the compost pile. So I hit up Stray Cat Flower Farm's "In Case of Emergency" ribbon box for some invincible synthetic stuff (above). That did the trick just perfectly, allowing me to focus my attention on the more importable task of documenting the decay of each bag's contents (below). Thanks, Stray Cats!


  1. Your floral designer experience came in handy for this little experiment.
    #6 what is it??

  2. You mean what WAS it? Compostable cutlery. They break down into little tiny pieces, which we then contained in pink tulle (too bad I didn't get a good photo of that . . . )