Friday, June 13, 2008

the joy of corruption

This is the real thing - true corruption. It's what will happen to all of us. And I love it.

That's enough stringing along of the gag. I'm actually talking about compost. No banking, media or racial strife, just me putting all my food scraps into a pair of tubs filled with earth that I have on my father's balcony.

I've always loved how food scraps in soil disappear. I actually had a better arrangement in another place I lived. That soil was so thick with worms that there'd often be more worms than earth. It was nuts. It was so idiotically fecund that everything grew in it. This current compost isn't there yet. I should say, I've never had the space to actually grow anything. There was that time I was a teenager and we had an orchard, but that's another story.

In the meantime I just make earth. After starting with the most crap 'potting mix' imaginable, comprised mostly of woodchips, I'm now starting to get soil worth having. One day I may grow something in it. But at the moment I don't care. I just like collecting all our food scraps, putting them in the soil and watching it rot. In about a month or so, whatever I bury in the soil (eggshells, banana tops and those stupid stickers they put on fruit aside) has disappeared.

If nothing else, I've reduced our garbage to a fraction of what it was. It used to break my heart carrying out bags of perfectly good compost uselessly rotting in plastic. And the flip side of this is weird. Bucket after bucket of food goes into my compost tubs but the volume of soil never changes. The tubs never get any fuller. Spooky.

This is actually a big subject and I may revisit it later. But for now I'll keep it simple. And what's simpler than my hands plunged into the rich soil and my nostrils filled with the smell of corruption? I'm a simple soul and this makes me happy. Human metaphors aside, corruption equals life.


nobody said...

There's a new flick at the cinema - The Illusionist.

Anonymous said...

I was going to leave this in the comments of the last article but it fits nicely here too; thanks nobody.
Apoplexy may be due for its day. Mind you it must be treated first. There, there apoplexy, nice pissy.
On a bigger scale.

Anonymous said...

My mum used to make 'gunk' for her flowers. Mind you she used to make ‘gunk’ as food too but that was a goulash of sorts. Probably same mixture only one went into a bucket of manure the other went very nicely thank you into our stomachs.
The gunk she used to fertilise her flowers with was as you say all the leftover vege waste, into a bucket of water and manure. She would then pour the liquid sparingly on her favourite flowers and the bloody things grew twice their normal size (at least).
An old bloke at our local farmers market does this and bottles it in ex 2lt. cordial bottles and sells it to the ‘old dears’ (his words) for $5 a throw! He tells me this with a chuckle.

kikz said...

mornin noby:)

we compost too.

coffee gounds, tea.. great additions.

nobody said...

Hey folks,

Um, human poo is good but there's a reason the Chinese only ever boil or steam the shit out of their veggies. No cold tossed salads for them! Not if there's human foecal matter on the lettuce. But I lived in China for a couple of years and ate all and it was only sick a couple of times. I have no great problems with human poo.

And coffee grounds are okay? I skip them. I used to work at a place that had rented pot plants. We'd get new plants every month or two. There was one room in which whatever plant was put in there would die. It was a big mystery until I had a chat to the pot-plant guy and he said he suspected that someone who used that room tipped their coffee into the pot-plant. Meaning well of course. But the guy said that coffee kills plants. With this in mind I don't put it in the compost. But maybe that's a mistake and that it's actually fine. I'm curious now and will google it. Yoroshiku.

Penny said...

I compost coffee grounds, along with tea bags, veggie and fruit peelings, eggshells etc.,


Though poop is used here( canada) commercialy, much like the article posted. It is sprayed in a liquid form.

Not like the use of manure, that was "aged", this is different and somewhat controversial and it smells really bad.

kikz said...

maybe i should've specified.. coffee grounds... :)

the Silverfish said...

Bravo to compost.
I compost most everything, ceptin old dirty shorts and leftover pieces of meat.

My compost heap up here at the Nest is absolutely massive, as every year I add one acres worth of fresh mowed green hay plus most of the crap that my three horses produce, then there is always the garden refuse, lawn clippings and such.
Every couple of years I spread the black gold out over my garden and flower beds then just stand back and watch the plants explode.

The Microcosm of life in the compost liter community is absolutely amazing as it goes about it's business of reclaiming and recycling natures bounty.

Sometimes when My Significant Other's ten year old daughter comes to visit I will let her stay up late so that she can see the parts of a compost heap that few ever see.
Around midnight we go to the heap turn off the flashlights as I plunge my hands elbow deep into the moist warm soil, then pulling out my hands I let the compost fall from my fingers and it's like a rain of living fire as the thousands of tiny Firefly larva show their disapproval at being so rudely interrupted as they go about their nightly duty's. Her gasps of unmitigated joy at the site never seems to grow old or fade as does the light of the fireflies as they settle back down to their chores.

Being a retired Biologist I still have a small lab in my basement, so naturally samples have to be taken , then in the morning she is charged with cataloging the various denizens that she finds under her microscope. The look of Wonderment on that child's face as she pears down through the eye pieces cannot be described.
With each new find my Lab computer is commandeered and the search begins. I am of coarse banished to the realm of the laptop while listening to her squeals of delight as her quarry is found.

Compost is good for many things, it's good for growing Young Minds as well as plants.

By the by,coffee grounds are Ok

nobody said...

No, understood you kikz, you were perfectly clear. I'd just dimwittedly extrapolatedly liquid coffee's ability to kill pot plants to coffee grounds doing something similar to the bacteria in the soil. I'm glad I was wrong. It's one less thing for the garbage.

As for pooh, there's no place for it in my compost but if someone else can put it to good use, all the better.

Hey silverfish, I wonder if your fireflies are endemic to North America? Actually they have them in Asia too. But I don't think we have anything like it in Oz. Time for google again!