What's Wasted becomes Future Fertility


I adore composting.  Strange passion I know but it appeals to my upbringing by parents from the depression era who were also frugal New Englanders.  Reuse, recycle, renew was the mantra of my childhood.  To build the compost I scooped out the bedding from our chicken coop, recovered the lawn clippings and raked leaves.  Placing these "waste" products into a pile with existing kitchen scraps, I created a pretty good sized heap - about 5 feet tall.  The last thing was to put a handful of worms from my worm bin into the middle and insert a thermometer.  It read 60 degrees.  I gave the whole thing a good watering and within four days the pile was steaming at 140 degrees!   The high temperature is important because it kills any stray weed seeds and unwanted bacteria.  We'll turn it every two weeks and in about three months those apple cores will be gorgeous dark humus - ready to feed the soil.  Here's where things that could be wasted are transformed into future fertility.

Most really good sustainable farmers I know will say they are growing soil and soil grows the food.   Compost brings new organic material which builds healthy soil structure and delivers necessary micro nutrients.  Healthy soils means healthy plants.

Debroah Koons Garcia is releasing a film entitled, The Symphony of Soil.  I got an advanced copy and  watched it twice.  It's beautiful and informative.  It's also playing here in Marin this week at the Rafael.  Here's the link: http://www.cafilm.org/rfc/films/1906.html