My Yard: The Food Disposal

I live on a 5-acre plot surrounded by grass, trees, rocks, etc and I have the good fortune of being able to toss any organic waste (watermelon rinds, chicken bones, old bread, etc) into the woods and within a few days some critters will come along to take care of it. We raise racing pigeons and we frisbee slices of bread out on the lawn to attract crows because that apparently drives away the hawks, which eat pigeons. After a few hours of the bread sitting there we’ll hear the noisy ruckus of a bunch of crows swooping down.

Whatever doesn’t get eaten decays quickly. Watermelon rinds tend to take a while since they’re really dense (but the ants work diligently to help speed the process along) whereas banana peels are nearly invisible within a day and they turn black quite quickly. Even junk food like cheese poofs and french fries are gone pretty fast when some squirrel or raccoon or whatever will stop by to check out the buffet. My own cat helps speed the process along, or at she tries. I usually shoo her away since what she wants to nibble on isn’t good for her and I don’t want cat barf showing up in the house later, but she can eat bits of chicken and whatnot. Cleaning out the fridge is a very difficult endeavor: I have to open the lid/remove the plastic wrap of the container and use every ounce of strength I have to heave its contents into the woods. I took this waste disposal technique to Grand Rapids, although I had to be more selective with what I fed to the wildlife. We have a balcony on the second floor and I used it to heave bits of green peppers, mango peels, orange rinds, and other small pieces into our back yard. Sometimes they’d get caught in the tree but the wind would shake them down eventually. We had half a tray of baklava that I wanted to throw out in the yard, but it would be too obvious and would take a long time to disappear so I instead walked all the way to the end of the street to toss it in a dumpster.


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