Thoughts on Compost
Nov 05 03:53
I’ve been thinking lately about compost.
Gardening is brutal. To cultivate what we desire, we murder a lot of perfectly-fine plants. And most of us dispose of our victims’ bodies – the weeds, the saplings, the beautiful-but-unloved bushes – on a compost pile. Some folks do it right and mix in coffee grounds, egg shells and organic dinner left-overs. I suspect most are like me: We dump our clippings and then make sure they’re turned once or twice a season. The reward is richer soil and free mulch for our gardens. Every gardener knows what grows thrives on the released nutrients of what is destroyed.
Of course, what grows is also bound by our climate, the acidity of our soil, how much sun we get and how often it rains. Plans must be adjusted to allow for all of these variables, and sometimes even when we do it all right, our zucchini flowers fall off and never grow back. Or serendipity steps in and we harvest tomatoes the size of softballs that just hang there, smelling that good, earthy tomato smell, begging to be eaten now, right now! With maybe a dash or two of salt.
But regardless of whether that hearty tomato plant grew sturdy on its own or required stakes and spools of kite string, at the end of the season it must be pulled down. It could have grown the juiciest and reddest tomato ever seen by mankind, or it could have produced wimpy fruit on spindly stems. Either way, it will end up in the same place.
Tossed on a pile of rotted weeds, awaiting the first great frost of the season, that beautiful and productive tomato plant, the pride of the plot, if it was sentient, would probably muse existential thoughts, like, “well, that blows.”
It’s the same with us. Beautiful or ungainly, productive or unable to work, strong or spindly, it doesn’t matter. Eventually we all become that from which the future grows: Compost. Being a melancholy type of person by nature, I find this comforting.
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Nov 24 06:46
This is one of your best written works to date.
aquaponic dave |
Dec 12 07:49
A profound thought indeed. And comforting.
I was looking around the web for people with disabilities who like to garden. I am designing a greenhouse that will accommodate the needs of the disabled at a hospital in Dallas, if you would be interested in helping please let me know. Thanks
Aug 09 09:27