The Virtues of Compost Gardening

I’ve been composting for a number of years now. Originally I had a large cylindrical bin with a removable lid. This worked well for a while, but eventually the bin got old and started to pull apart at the seams. After several attempts to repair it, I finally decided to remove the outer casing in May of this year. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was tired of the old arrangement.

Within less than a month, I noticed small seedlings in the compost. I had put food scraps in it, including tomatoes, peppers, and cantaloupes, so I wasn’t too surprised. What surprised me, though, was how quickly these seedlings took hold and matured. After a month of watching from the sidelines, I started to intervene, reducing the number of seedlings so they wouldn’t choke each other out. But I didn’t think any of them would survive.

Now, after three months of daily watering and occasional weeding but not much else, I have four robust tomato plants with numerous blooms, one healthy pepper plant with small buds, and two cantaloupe plants. (The cantaloupes aren’t ideally positioned and don’t have easy access to the compost, so they haven’t been productive.) Considering I’ve added no plant food to the nutrient-deficient soil other than the chicken bones from my food scraps, this is something of a minor miracle.

Of course I could have gotten far more out of these plants if I had propagated them from seed much earlier in the year. That would have been ideal. But if you knew how difficult it is to grow plants of any sort in the soil around here, you would understand how much of an accomplishment this is. And it all goes back to compost.

In the near future, I will most likely be starting a Patreon account to facilitate the growth of this site. I’ve been posting on Mark All My Words on at least a semi-regular basis for four years, and I’ve been excited at every step to see the degree to which my efforts have inspired others. The encouragement I’ve received as a result has been the primary motivation for me to continue. But encouragement only goes so far. There are costs to running a site like this, including equipment, transportation, software, time, and energy – all of which have come from one person thus far, me.

So if you agree with the principles I have expounded on this site – principles of sustainability, honesty, ethics, and doing the right thing – please consider doing the right thing for this site in the future by supporting it on Patreon.

After all, the only guarantee we have for a better future is the good we do today.

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