The innovations in the business of emergency preparedness and survival have been mind boggling. In the last 10 years, the industry has not only grown in leaps and bounds but also innovated as well. There are inventors pumping millions of dollars and endless hours of their life force into creating the next big thing.
Compost tends to be the great balance to all that innovation. You see, no matter how advanced the materials become or how powerful the gadgets get if you want to grow food you need compost. There are ways around it but I wouldn’t recommend it. If you are looking to build a sustainable food system you cannot do it without composting.
It’s a magical process that breaks down your yard waste, chicken bedding and food scraps into pure gold. When the leaves begin to fall and you start to get upset about having to rake just look at each leave as a slice of gold. These leaves are just that. The fallen leaves and what you are cleaning out of the chicken coop is solid gold. It breaks down into an incredibly nutritious growing medium.
- The process of piling up all these leaves, food scraps and turning this pile repeatedly hastens the breakdown. We are aerating this pile and inviting the aerobic bacteria in to feast. These bacteria are truly the kings of compost. As they break this pile down we wind up with a pile of magic.
Worms are the special forces of the compost pile. When the worms show up and start eating things get amazing. They leave behind something called worm castings. This is basically worm poop! When your compost is run through a worm’s body it breaks down so much faster.
- The more often you turn your pile and the more you wet it down the faster this thing will break down into the gold you want to fill your raised beds with. You can also speed up this process by adding giving the worms and bacteria something to drink other than water.
Compost loves beer and soda. Add these two to your compost pile on a regular basis and you will see a swell of worms come to your pile. With this swell of worms will come a breakdown of your pile that is hard to believe. They love sugar as well! Some people say that ammonia works on the pile as well. No one wants to eat ammonia but most people like soda and beer.
Compost makes great tea as well. Not something you would sip over breakfast of course but you can make a powerful tea for your plants. If you don’t wind up stuffing all this great compost into your growing beds you can dunk some into a 5-gallon bucket filled with water and turn it or aerate it with bubbles overnight. This powerful compost tea can be rained across the leaves and deep into the roots of your plants.
- Compost tea will not only quench the thirst of your plants but it will also protect your leaves from pests and add another layer of nutrients to the soil and into your food.
If you can fall in love with the composting practice it will pay off in your attempts to grow food. If you have trees on your property you really have no choice but to get into the process. Don’t send all those wonderful leaves away in truck. Make a compost pile and start growing food!
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