my life as a potted plant lady

I’m reading about how 27 percent of the food available for consumption in the United States ends up in a landfill and I vow on the spot to start a vermicompost bin on my back porch. Because I’ve got funky jars of roasted red peppers, frozen edamame from last summer, and expired vegan mayonnaise just hanging out in my fridge so that I can pretend they haven’t been wasted yet.

And I felt so self-satisfied this afternoon when I turned 5 pieces of stale bread into breadcrumbs and baked them into lentil loaf. If that only put a dent in the situation. There is a bag of pita that will go the same way later this week and become the gratin in asparagus au gratin, which I have to make because I bought two bunches for $1 each in the market today, but only because the vegetable hawker muttered under his breath about how the rain was keeping customers away and I felt bad.

I’m still thinking about what my life as a person who owns a box of worms would be like and all I can think about is the next time I move. “Yes, person who loves me enough to help carry my shit from one place to another, I’m asking you to move a heavy box of decomposing broccoli stalks, coffee grounds, and coupon flyers, and a back yard built of adjacent potted plants and flower boxes.” Which would be the insult on top of the injury that is my book collection.

I’ve never wanted to start a vegetable garden for the sake of eating home-grown vegetables, but it suddenly seems like a good way to assuage my guilt over being a wasteful person. And instead of having cats, become a crazy potted plant lady. With really tall, well-fertilized potted plants.



  1. I would not put expired Vegenaise in my compost if I were you. Too oily and gross. Just a thought.

    Also I would keep away from the term “vegetable hawker” as a general rule.

    (How’s that for advice from someone you haven’t heard from in like over a year probably?)

  2. Hee! My composting worms should arrive in the mail tomorrow 🙂 Hopefully I will be able to keep them long-term this time.

    And your future moving-helpers don’t know how good they have it – the last time Dan and I moved, one of our boxes contained wood and bricks!

    Hmm… that’s the wrong verb tense. “won’t know how good they will have had it”? “won’t have known how good they will have it”? I might need to downgrade my “grammar queen” moniker to “grammar dowager princess” or something…

  3. I think “won’t know how good they have it” would suffice, if you’re simply extending the common idiom, since it’s generally thought of in the present tense (“don’t know how good they have it”). We want to imply that, WHEN they’re moving, they WON’T know how good they have it (at that time).

    But you could always play a little with it to change the idiom some. Under no circumstances does “won’t have known how good they will have it” work for anything, though, I think. 🙂

    Cyberspace ILL grammar throwdown.

  4. This is interesting stuff. I believe we have a major issue of “way too much waste in America” when I read this. Sad that we actually have to do specials on “Super Size Me” to show that we are killing ourselves…while not caring for the needs of the poor around us….due to over-indulgence.

    Keep up the discussions. I’m in!

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