I don’t know how many times I have come across something that I thought, “If I just had a bucket, I could bring that back with me.” Typically, this is something that can be composted. I’ve seen piles of almost black bananas that someone was throwing away, wet paper bags of used coffee grounds, lawn clippings, even fish entrails outside a fishing dock. I’ve seen muck from the bottom of a pond that was being drained. I’ve seen piles of horse, goat, and chicken manure and straw. It doesn’t have to be things that people are throwing away either. I’ve seen dead crabs and seaweed washed up at a beach, mounds of ash after a small forest fire, mounds of leaves growing mushrooms on the side of the road in the autumn. All of these would be fantastic additions to my soil increasing the nutrients, minerals, and overall quality by adding more and more diversity to the soil. All of these things I have had to pass by and think, “What a waste!”
My tip? Just bring a bucket with you. Place one in your car or carry one in your bike basket (if you don’t have one, consider adding one). If you are going to a place that you know will have a lot of material, then bring a couple of buckets.
It doesn’t always need to be for compostable material. What about when you seen a field that is about to be bulldozed for new construction and there are wild blackberries or lamb’s quarters? I’ve “relocated” azaleas from a home site that was condemned – the bulldozers came the next week and leveled everything, plants and house together. You may want to carry a small shovel in the bucket, too.
The people who benefit from surprise opportunities are those that are planning on those opportunities and are not surprised by them.
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