Something amusing just happened – all in the name of ‘recycling’ and ‘reusing’.

I was boiling some homemade barley for feverish Joe when I reached out into the fridge for some Manuka honey. I was in a mood for a refreshing drink as the weather’s been terribly warm these days – not surprising for tropical Singapore in the summer season.

I caught sight of a plastic bottle with a colourful sticker that says “Manuka Honey”. From the bottle, I scooped out a generous amount and dipped it into a cup of water. The mixture soon turned milky white with a very distinct smell of cream.

It immediately dawned on me that the bottle contained condensed milk instead! Joe’s family had recycled/reused the Manuka honey bottle to store it.

Unwilling to waste that generous scoop of condensed milk, I left the cup in the fridge for later consumption. And I made myself some ice-cold ribena instead.

Ahhh… The simple joys of a cool drink on a warm day. 🙂

Anyway, as the barley seeds gradually boil in the kitchen, I figured I had some time on my hands. Hence, this entry, which I’ll be sharing an interesting event that happened in one of our compost bins last night –

At about close to midnight, my dad informed Joe and I that one of the compost bins had started to stink. It immediately struck us that the fried fish in one of the bins must be up to no good. (It’s been two days since we first experimented with composting cooked food.)

Poor Joe – already down with fever – had to come over to my place and investigate. We also had to make sure that the bins were not inconveniencing the neighbours in any way.

As we walked up right up to the bins, we did not detect any smell. It was only when we stuck our noses right up to the top of the bins that we could make out the odour that reminded us of dried fish snacks:

Quickly, we topped up the bin with hay all the way to the brim. It was a good 20 to 30cm of hay that we added. We stuck our noses at the bin again and viola! No odour at all.

Nevertheless, we covered the bin with the lid because my dad seemed pretty worried about annoying our neighbor. “Just in case,” he said. We tried advising him to leave it uncovered to improve aeration in the bin; an anaerobic compost would result in unpleasant odours.

Just this afternoon, my dad told us that he decided to remove the lid afterall, and indeed the compost did not smell since the generous amount of hay we added last night. The bin has been left open since then.

This still makes as wonder at the benefits of using hay for composting. It never fails to surprise us each time. 🙂


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