On new compost

The compost heaps are also where the best volunteer veg spring up:  note the squash above.

Upon trucking the umpteenth wheelbarrow full of fresh compost around the new beds this weekend, I reflected on how much the big pile of stuff means to me and the gardens.  I’ve waxed philosophical on the subject many times over the years, and my ardor for the “garden gold” has only grown with time.

That said, I still have never let it cook down to being completely finished. Nope. Call me impatient, or greedy, or both.

It’s an interesting math problem, actually.  With the addition of dairy goats two years ago, the actual volume of compostables (in the form of their bedding) has quadrupled.  My gardens, however, have not.  It was only this weekend that the garden got expanded…it’s been the same size since 2008, thus, technically, I should be sitting on a surplus.  A surplus, or at least a big enough reserve so it actually cooks down!  There never is a surplus, though:  like the government’s budget, new sources for the goods are always readily found, and those resources get sucked up.  And lo, it’s never quite “done” yet.

So during that schlep of compost it also occurred to me that, as a gardener, my job is actually within the vast field of waste management.  You know, winkwink, nudgenudge, what Tony Soprano would claim as his profession (with a perfectly straight face, mind you) to anyone who asked.  Heh.

Yep.  Behold, the power of poo.

9 responses to “On new compost

  1. Gardening as waste management. You crack me up!

  2. I definitely see composting as waste management. Unlike most people, I do NOT have garbage service coming and picking up my trash once a week. Because we strive not to bring much waste in initially (packaging, etc.),recycle religiously, and compost consistently, I only need to haul our trash once a month or so. It’d be less if we weren’t doing home improvement projects which result in some unavoidable waste.

    I even “compost” my dogs’ poo in a big homemade doggie dooley. After letting the full hole sit for a year, we’ll be planting an apple tree there. The first one we planted that way is doing pretty good and also growing huge sunflower plants. Best thing is the predator poo seems to keep the pocket gophers out!

  3. I like how you compared composted poo to our governments budget.:) I agree though, there is never enough compost to go around. I also like your side bar excerpt on seperating “Want From Need” …something I wish more people would contemplate.

  4. I never wait for compost to be finished either. It works its magic even with chunks.

  5. You’re doing better than me. Mine rarely even makes it to the dedicated compost pile. I’ve found a lot of it can be put directly in the garden despite what the experts says about it being “too hot”. Saves me having to haul it twice. Even the pig poo goes straight in the beds for the most part.

  6. oh yeah, compost..if only people knew the depth of it’s value they’d be selling it. Wait, they do. I’m a cold composter with many wire containers within the gardens to rot down for use the following Spring. But man, what a boost the chicken manure has made in just a year. Worm city. Soil more friable. I’ll pass on the ‘hooved ones’ manure and leave that to a young gal like you. (Though when I was younger I was charged with the care a feeding of several pet goats who seemed to have no problems knocking me over when I appeared with the buckets. Good times.) Tell us what will be going into the new garden.

  7. You got dairy goats? How did I miss that?

  8. Oh my gosh I thought I was on a different blog – DERP!!!!

  9. Hi Rachelle, well, the post I put up today should further emphasize what a recycler I am!

    Chile, likewise, we don’t have much nonreusable garbage at all! That’s quite an ingenious use of your dog’s waste: I wish my city neighbors had done such a thing with theirs instead of filling it up, yuck. Happy trees, certainly.

    Hi Mike. Gotta lob a softball every once in a while. Resources come in many forms, of course…

    H2, thanks for confirming I am not the only impatient person gardening in the world…it helps trust me.

    Diana, indeed…you’re saving yourself some work, which can only help. I do haul all my stuff to the compost pile mainly because I am not the only one dumping; it’s a family affair…thus the eggs and coffee filters atop the pile in the first picture, where my daughter climbed up and dumped it. I think using it hot is fine as long as you’re weeks away from harvest.

    Hah, Randi, glad those chickies are helping the bottom line! Having your cages scattered around probably helps with the hauling.And young my foot; in a month I will be closer to 50 than 40.

    Annette, you’ve got a lot on your mind lately, girl. Hope the move goes smoothly.

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