Saturday, July 31, 2010

Compost Happens

Last spring, I had started a small composting project.  You can read the original blog entry HERE.  Well, given my -then- physical limitations and our limited space, the original project failed miserably.  At the time, climbing stairs was still somewhat of a challenge for me, so bringing the compost trash down stairs to the garden area (which really would have made the most sense!) was really not a great option for me.  As a result, I had set up a small box to contain the compost-to-be outside the front door.  Granted, this spot was a lot closer to the kitchen and considerably more convenient for me to dump the waste, but it just was not adequate to the purpose.  As well, it got entirely too wet and had very poor drainage.  The resulting goo smelled horrible and was attracting flies.  I canceled my project shortly after it began.

If you have been reading this blog at all, you have probably realized that I don't easily give up on good ideas...

So...compost happens!  Earlier this year I began another foray into the world of composting.  This time, thanks to improved physical ability (no doubt due to my continued adherence to The Maker's Diet and my use of VidaCell ), I decided to create the compost heap near the garden.  Last year, I had made some frames for the garden to create some raised beds.  They didn't work out as well as intended, so my wife decided not to use them again this year.  I commandeered one of them for my new compost project.  Years ago, we had set up a fence around the garden in order to reduce the number of critters that could access our growing vegetables.  I set the frame for the compost heap outside the fence.  I uprooted all of the weeds surrounding and inside of the newly placed frame.  Rather than toss them down the hill, I simply used them to begin the compost.  I turned over the soil - really mostly just dried out, infertile clay - and took out as many rocks as I could.  After that, I went foraging for small sticks and leaves to add to the first layer of the heap.  In the process, I uncovered a couple of earthworms so I added them to the heap as well.
For the last couple of months, now, I have been adding the eligible materials that come out of our kitchen - used tea bags, fruit rinds and peels, and other scraps that would otherwise have been thrown out.  Once in a while, I will turn over the pile, add more leaves, and wet it down during dry spells.
Today, I went to add some over-ripe strawberries and blueberries.  I also went foraging again for some more sticks and leaves and turned the pile to blend the newer additions to the fairly well-established pile.  I have been amazed at each turning of the pile by the size and number of the earthworms that are now present in it.  Sure, I added every worm that I discovered while foraging, but there are far more present than I am personally responsible for.

Well, the results are far from realized but it seems that this compost project is a lot more successful than my previous one.  I am actually looking forward to the next planting season!

1 comment:

Cathy said...

Yes! Hooray for the worms and the earth and all the things that it gives us!

And especially I am glad to read that you are continuing to have more energy and stamina!

Miss you!