Wednesday, December 16, 2009

God made dirt and dirt don't hurt

...but it sure does stink.

This month I've had my first couple experiences turning compost. I'm the new intern-ish person at the garden and I'll be honest, a smelly compost pile is not exactly what I had in mind when I signed up to learn how to grow things. When Justin, Kern and I turned the piles a few weeks ago, they were full of rotting pumpkins, onions and coffee grounds. Since compost can heat up to 180 degrees, the heat produced delicate odors of hot coffee, sauteed onions, and human feces. It should probably be patented into an air freshener scent.

Despite the odiferousness of these piles, they are the perfect place for my garden education to begin. My knowledge is literally growing from the ground up. Soil is the most important component to a successful garden and I'm learning how it is made. We help the process along by putting in the right stuff - veggie and fruit scraps, eggshells, leaves, sticks - and turning the piles to shift things around and help aerate, but most of the work is done by the critters that live in these piles - worms, roly polys, beetles, ants and little microscopic thingies.

This seems to be what gardening is all about - helping along the natural process of growth and development. Our role is not to create, but to cultivate.


She's Still Thinking said...
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justin.owings said...

i was signed on with my friends user name when i posted a comment, the one now deleted above. it said, "GREAT POST!"