Tuesday Open Thread ~ The Earth Whisperers
“The soil is the great connector of lives, the source and destination of all. It is the healer and restorer and resurrector, by which disease passes into health, age into youth, death into life. Without proper care for it we can have no community, because without proper care for it we can have no life.” ~ Wendell Berry
If someone had told me a year ago I would be composting, I would never have believed them. A New York City girl at heart, I had no idea what microbes were, had never had a conversation about soil, and drove my recycling conscious Sister nuts with my collection of plastic grocery bags. Then I moved to California and my perception about trees, fires, droughts, and potable water shifted dramatically. So, you might say I was ready for the idea of composting when Christine Lenches-Hinkel of 301 Organics suggested I blog about it. As a writer who is always looking for new material to explore, the idea intrigued me. As a city girl, the idea intimidated me a little, but I decided to do it anyway.
My first week of home composting and already there have been a few surprises. The first one was discovering that composting is neither smelly nor messy. Largely due to a method, or as 301 Organics calls it, “a recipe”, where food scraps, yard waste, and paper waste are mixed together to produce a natural biological reaction that will eventually create a microbe rich soil that can be used to enrich your vegetable garden, your lawn, shrubs and trees to make them stronger and more resilient to drought. The other surprise was how collecting my food scraps, yard waste, and paper waste shifted my focus away from feeling hopeless about the damage we are doing to our planet and more towards the possibilities regeneration can have on our environment.
It’s actually very simple, or as Kiss The Ground might say, it’s a solution that is right under our feet. So where does composting come into this? Well, think of composting as “Nature’s Living Technology”. Since climate change is about having too much carbon in the air, then the process where carbon is pulled from the air by plants and trees who feed the micro-organisms to build soil seems like something we should be doing. By applying a thin layer of compost on your soil, you are setting off “an ongoing positive feedback loop that brings more and more carbon to the soil” Better soil, better plants, better balance between carbon and nitrogen in our environment. More carbon in the soil is what we want. Better soil means better, stronger, healthier plants, which means a better and higher quality food for us and a better and cleaner environment for us all to live and thrive in.
As the possibilities of “Nature’s Living Technology” began to grow in my own imagination, I wondered what would happen if some of my friends and family were to also shift their focus from feeling helpless to feeling empowered by getting them to start doing something as simple and as effective as composting? And what would happen if their friends and family began doing the same? And so on? Now imagine that this rippling effect can begin with you, right now, by simply composting?
Need a little more inspiration? Here’s a 3 minute video that may change the way you look at composting and the role you can play.