Compost Chemistry Crisis

Every adult living and working on the farm was sitting in a tiny room, drinking bad coffee and talking about compost. Not just casual chit-chat or even nuts-and-bolts planning. They were talking, arguing and even philosophizing about the most minute details.

Bobbi had a headache. It was a tension headache. It felt like sharp pointy nails poking into key areas of her spine and neck. It sounded like bees and mosquitoes buzzing in her ears. Seriously, imaginary bugs were buzzing in her ears. They were saying things like ‘you almost failed chemistry’ and ‘you’re to stupid to understand basic chemical reactions’ – over and over and over again.

When Bobbi came to the farm, she expected everything would be very…well…farm-like. She liked the geeky nature of the people who lived here. Correction – she LOVED the geeks who shared this space with her. She often spent many an hour doing exactly what every other person in the room was doing right at that moment, on topics covering anything and everything. Else. Anything and everything else.

As a gardener, Bobbi didn’t mind composting. To her mind, it was all about raising worms. Feed the worms and the worms poop plant food. Simple. Earthy. Elegant.

This was not worm poop. This was chemical interactions between decomposing materials that may, or may not, attract worms and insects within specific phyla, thereby resulting in chemical excretion more suited to….

Oh dear lord.

It was high school chemistry all over again, and Bobbi was reliving that horrible final exam that nearly cost her a high school diploma.  She wanted to stand up and scream “worm poop!” But that would make her crazy, instead of just plain stupid.

“Roberta, what you think?”

The room went gone silent, all eyes were on Bobbi and all she could think was: Roberta?

“Who’s Roberta?” She asked. Another heartbeat of silence passed before the room burst into laughter.

Daniel was new to the farm. He was a hired hand and an intern, living at the Wild Raccoon for the summer. After much snickering and guffawing, someone informed him that ‘Roberta’ is known as Bobbi. Only Bobbi. He apologizes and Bobbi manages to slip in a half-joke about the worms being happy with the food and the farm plants being happy with their poop.

The residual chuckling is followed by a mass decision to leave for the night. The meeting breaks up and the chemistry crisis is over.

For now.

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