A Lesson in Composting
I didn’t have a compost pile, so I bought a pile of compost:
That’s it up on the left, much larger than it looks. There’s a bag of peat moss to the front left.
I laid it all out on the garden space to aid in distribution:
Then I tried doing a test patch of distributing the compost:
Then I tried double digging some of the test plot:
Double digging consists of digging up a trench, and then digging down another foot or so. Many people incorporate a thick layer of compost. You should also try to remove all the rocks and stones. It is an incredible amount of labor and is very time consuming. It outright sucks. I’m using “gardening when it counts” as my guide to gardening and the author, Steve Solomon, recommends against double digging and says it is not necessary and is even counterproductive. I tried it to be sure, I believe that’s how my grandfather dug his garden, and my conclusion is: fuck that shit.
After distributing the compost, and double digging some of it in, I took a break and read another seed catalog online that I had been meaning to get to for about six months. In it they listed the same compost I am using and included a much more comprehensive listing of ingredients than what was on the bag or the website. In that list was “manure” and I realized that this compost must have factory farmed manure in it. FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK. I contacted the company and they confirmed that there is in fact the waste products of poor tortured animals fed a diet of GMO corn in this compost. That’s exactly what I’m trying to avoid and I just dumped it all over my garden…or at least one good corner of it. I’m really dang glad I used a test plot. The company did have fantastic customer service though.
After thinking about it I decided to make that contaminated corner into a butterfly garden:
In time I will fill in the concrete blocks, the clay pipe, and the kitchen sink with dirt and plant them too. So far I only laid down a packet of flower seeds intended to be used for a butterfly garden: http://www.botanicalinterests.com/products/view/7009/Bring-Home-the-Butterflies-Seed/page:2/category:flowers
This has been a lesson in how not to compost. If you want a lesson on how to compost, or if you just want a nifty new blog, check out The Bifurcated Carrot: http://www.patnsteph.net/weblog/2006/04/composting-and-mulching/