03 June 2015

The Joys of Composting

When I was little “compost“ was just a weird word that reminded me of compote“. Some years later it changed into this gigantic untidy heap of dead stuff that we had at our cottage until last summer when I moved here, where there are two big black plastic composters. They sure do make it more tidy, but they make turning of the rotting compost almost impossible. So no-one ever did it. A couple of years‘ worth of matter was piled up in these composters, so I decided to empty them and give them a new start.

This may not be the best picture but it nicely shows the layers of decayed things at the bottom with larger and less decomposed things on top. The fauna of the compost is incredible. Woodlice, millipedes, centipedes, spiders, earthworms... All of these feed there, live there, poop there, breed there and die there, their bodies being decomposed by other organisms and eventually contributing to the overall health of the garden where we are trying to grow our food. That truly is a joyous picture, isn’t it?

The bottom of the pile was a lovely rich soil mostly made up of very small leaf leftovers. I have already used most of this to earth up my potato plants and enrich the soil for other plants. It's been an afternoon of hard work, but the sight of fresh nutritious soil in the golden light of setting sun was definitely worth it.

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