On compost hubris

P1010217Land mine

In the category of Things I Will Not Repeat, I will give you a lesson in compost humility.

Before I left on our little vacation, I threw down some compost, about 3″ thick, on top of the two greenhouse beds where I had pulled up the resident tomato plants.  I didn’t dig it in; I was in a bit of a rush (as ever).  Well, a sick and sleeping child gave me the opportunity to get some gardening done when we returned from our trip so…I went after that compost, digging it in with my trusty wobbly three-tined cultivator.

I uncovered an egg in the compost.

“This must be old,” I told myself, as whole eggs next to never come out of the compost process whole, or if they do, they’re dried out, their contents a flaky memory on the insides of their shells.

I hit it with that trusty three-tined fork, and it exploded, KAPOW!  Quite a huge pop!  Kind of cool in a way.  And I didn’t realize it at the time but a blob of sulfurous rotten egg came flying and landed on my head.  The top of my head.

I thought rotten potatoes were gross.  And boy, am I glad I always have a large jug of thinned vinegar in the bathroom!  Half a gallon later, I was fresh as a daisy.

But yes:  I learned my lesson.  All eggs are potential stinkbombs.  Do not poke!

16 responses to “On compost hubris

  1. Dearie, dearie me. What an . . . extreme experience!

    How did that egg get there, do you think?

    • My best guess: I found a clutch of eggs out in the hinterlands and, not knowing their age, I threw them all atop (notice) the new compost heap. Well, this one must’ve rolled downhill and into the old compost. I am still surprised it was whole! I am not exactly a gentle compost-slinger.

  2. I’ll bet is was fun! And I’ll bet it really did stink!


  3. Thanks for the giggle!

  4. oh, dear. i’m six months pregnant, and i’m pretty sure i wouldn’t have survived that. or, at the very least, my stomach wouldn’t have.

  5. mystery still not solved: how did egg get there? We’re all holding our breath (for numerous reasons).

  6. I am laughing with you not at you. Truly. But really, really laughing.

  7. lol! I’ll consider myself forewarned!

  8. Too funny!!! But I’ll warn you, 3 month old hard-boiled eggs are almost as bad. When I was a child we found one at my grandparents on 4th of July- left over from an Easter Egg hunt. As kids- we thought it was funny- our parents weren’t amused at all. Of course, the 2 hour drive home was REALLY long!

  9. Oh no! And so funny at the same time – in a horrifying way!

  10. Equally, if you have eggs that don’t hatch in the incubator or under a broody and want to check them for fertility, don’t bring them into the kitchen to crack open….

  11. this reminds me of the rat Templeton in Charlotte’s Web who hoards a rotten goose egg.

    that’s some nasty looking egg goo!

  12. … phew… El’s new perfume: eau d’oeuf bien mur.

    We only get snake eggs in our compost pile… the mommy snake likes the heat of the pile so leaves her clutch of eggs there – soft shells, they are…

  13. Snake and eggs is one of my favorite breakfasts.

  14. All: Glad to give you a chuckle, and sorry if it yucked some of you out. It was a really funny thing. I think the egg rolled off the new compost pile into the old one. Normally, I smash up any eggs I find but I found a pile out under a tree (damned chickies) and, having no idea of the pile’s age, I just dumped the whole thing. And I had the idea the one egg might explode, and, being a bit of a kid myself, I…tested it. IT wasn’t until I was out of the greenhouse and weeding elsewhere that I thought, wow, I STILL smell that egg…hey, wait a minute, what’s THIS, and yes, found that stinking blob atop my head. Aaagh! I RAN to the house, threw clothes into the wash, ran naked through the house and upstairs to the shower. Luckily, we didn’t have company at the time.

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