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A Good Morning in the Garden




Why am I here?


Why would anyone, especially a sleep deprived college student battered by the constant and never ending stream of virtual classes brought on by a global pandemic, want to wake up before the crack of noon and come to work in the University of Arizona's Community Garden. More specifically, to work the Compost Cat's bucket program. Which means dumping people's smelly, old food scraps out of 2 gallon bins and into a wheelbarrow only to inspect it for foreign contaminants, prod the steaming mass with a pitch fork and give the stranger wielding the bucket a thumbs up.



The sun is shining... The breeze is cool... The birds are singing and I do particularly enjoy the birds... Nearly all the plants are blooming... Actually, it's really not that bad of a morning.


As I stand with fork in hand over my wheelbarrow one of the regulars walks up with his bucket. Most people come most weekends but this man has been here, every Saturday, rain and shine. He knows the routine, but still asks if he should dump his food scraps into the barrow just in case. A considerate fellow.


"Please, let's see what we've got this week." I reply. The man obligingly unscrews the lid of his bucket and pours the contents onto the top of the heap that's already formed. A few moldy slices of bread. An apple core. A grape stem. Orange peels that have been partially zested. The skins from a few potatoes. Egg shells, lots of egg shells along with lots of coffee grounds. A man after my own heart with an apparent love of breakfast food. "It all looks great!" I give the pile

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