Offer adds up to mulch

The Brooklyn Paper
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Win a free composter … and a free lesson on how to use it! Most of us would rather win something a little more substantial, like, say, the Mega Millions lottery, or an affordable housing unit. But, you take what you can get.

Fredrik Anderson and his partner, both Fort Greene residents (with the emphasis on green), are trading up in the composting world.

The small composter that has served their decomposition needs for nearly seven years will be given to the first person who expresses interest in it, along with a free demonstration of how to use the darned thing.

Just to be clear, Anderson and his partner aren’t giving the composter away because it doesn’t beautifully harness the combined power of bacteria and microbes to break down stale bread and coffee grounds. In fact, it works so well that the couple was inspired to get even more serious about composing — and has ordered two new, gigantic mashers for that very purpose.

Their older, smaller composter — the one that could be yours — comes in a stylish black box, and will, over time, transform carrot peelings, orange rinds and wilted red leaf lettuce into a black, nutrient-rich soil.

“You throw food scraps into it and leaves and sawdust, and you turn it over every once in a while and it breaks down into fertilizer,” said Anderson. “It will turn into this black, soil-looking stuff, and you can spread it out on your garden.”

Beware, though: this composter, like any good vegan, can’t be fed meat, bones or dairy.

Even so, Anderson has noticed a striking reduction in the amount of trash he and his partner haul to the curb each week — 75 percent by his estimate.

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden, which runs a free composting workshop funded by the Department of Sanitation, said Anderson’s estimate might be right.

“The average New York City household throws away two pounds of organic waste each day,” according to the Botanic Garden Web site. “This adds up to over a million tons of organic waste per year, most of which is transported to landfills.”

Even if you don’t win Anderson’s composter, you should think about getting into this mulch business. Anderson directed me to plenty of Web sites that sell similar composters as his, plus other smaller models called (lovingly) “worm bins.” You know that old saying: One worm’s excrement is another man’s fertilizer.

But the contest isn’t for a worm bin. This is for a “big-ass thing that needs a garden to go into,” Anderson said.

It’s so good, it’ll probably help you make some new friends.

“My partner works in Staten Island and his co-workers bring in their vegetable scraps for him. Isn’t that wild?”

Gardeners who want Anderson’s composter should e-mail him at

The Kitchen Sink

We hear that the culinary powerhouse that brought Fort Greene restaurants like Pequena, Maggie Brown and Moe’s, is considering opening a new eatery in the Fulton Street and Clinton Avenue spot once occupied by Bodegas. …

Hundreds of Brooklyn’s upper crust celebrated the formation of Bedford-Stuyvesant’s Gateway Business Improvement District. The new BID plans to offer “a diverse range of goods and services.” We wish them well. …

Ted Allen, the foodie from “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” is coming to the neighborhood — and not to teach you how to make “Caprese with a twist.” Allen forked over $1.7 million for a four-story house on Washington Avenue in Clinton Hill. Let the extreme makeover begin! …

The Fort Greene Association is still pushing for residential parking permits, which means the days may be numbered for commuters who park near the LIRR hub. …

The latest casualty of the Health Department’s restaurant crackdown is Dekalb Avenue’s very own June. Let’s hope they clean up their act by brunch-time next Sunday — you know, around noon.

Updated 4:28 pm, July 9, 2018
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