Growing up on the third floor of a Bronx apartment in New York in no way qualifies you for judgement about the health of the Earth. But somehow, in the midst of now learning to garden and plant flowers and even, God help me, grow a lettuce from a seed, I find myself smitten by my newfound relationship with COMPOST.
In truth, there are practicalities that make me feel this way. As a person now in love with gardens and growing, one always looks for improvements and nothing can make soil produce a greater bounty than working shovelfuls of compost into a bed. It strengthens the plants, makes better use of the available nutrients, and often leads to a bigger crop.
Then, there are the practicalities of the planet. We are at an inflection point vis a vis soil. Monocultures across the land, and the additives that prop them up, are harming soils terribly. Cries from near and far are calling for changes in how we farm (go small) and what we use to do it (enrich soil). Here again, it is compost that provides richness to tired soils and that supplements the soil as nothing else can.
But compost can do even more. Compost is a carbon sink. It pulls carbon from the air and keeps it in the soil where it is of use. As we search for ways to lower our carbon footprint, it is common sense to help food waste decompose and enrich the soil.
Then there is the lovely idea of the virtuous circle – where all the parts support the other. When we create compost, we use natural mechanisms to break down the nutrients of food waste so they can be reabsorbed to create more food.
In addition, by putting used foodstuffs into a COMPOST pile, you are diverting what would end up as GARBAGE at a landfill. Instead, it becomes a set of nutrients! And…at the exact time you are diverting pounds and pounds of food waste from a landfill you are also making it a useful product. So…less garbage and waste in the trash bin and more nutrients available for growing.
Do the math and compost is the winner every time.
Here in Sharon, you can create your own compost easily with a special bin that rolls and makes turning compost ‘easy peasey.’ Or you can make the older-style compost pile and watch it give you richer soil.
However, if you do not have a garden but want to help the Earth, or, if like us, you can do both – make your own compost and also divert food scraps — there is also a 3rd way. You can buy a small cart hat is picked up weekly for pennies on the dollar and send your scraps to Black Earth Compost Company (www.blackearthcompost.com). They already do pick-ups in Sharon and they create fabulous compost that makes sure that the nutrients in leftover foods never end up in a landfill!
Also, as a member, in Spring you get a free bag of compost from them and, if you play your cards right – you end up with your best set of snow peas ever.
Black Earth is based on the North Shore and is growing its member base all the time. When you join (for a measly $10 a month) you pay a onetime fee for (dare I say it) the cutest cart ever, and line it with bags that look like plastic ones but actually decompose!
Here in Sharon, there are upwards of 290 folks already involved. And…the more folks that sign up, the lower the price they charge everyone. So, whether you do your own composting, or divert it all to Black Earth, or do both as we do, – Become a COMPOSTER and help save the world.