Still Learning To See

Compost is beautiful

Peelings-3812Who could imagine the peelings of the Red Kuri squash I bought last week at our Farmers’ Market might be considered a work of abstract art?! Though it might not end up in The Met, I find the contrast of various shades of green, yellow and orange both delightfully  startling and immensely satisfying.

Post-photo the peelings were, of course, added to the compost bucket and later that day made their way up to the compost pile, another thing of beauty. This time of year I’m harvesting the last of the early summer crop of compost—mainly kitchen scraps and early garden trimmings—to feed my Fall plantings of Spring bulbs. Fascinating how this one process connects the year and the circle of life!

All winter we collect our kitchen scraps in 5-gallon buckets in a cold (but not freezing) garage. Typically we have a dozen buckets. In the Spring I clean up the flower gardens—lovely all Winter in silhouette against the snow—and layer those cuttings with the scraps to build one large pile.

This big pile quickly “cooks” and continues to “work” for a few weeks until I turn it into the second bin to finish; that becomes a prime addition to all the Summer plantings and, in turn, makes room to start the first batch of Summer compost (what I’m harvesting now).

A nod to the source of my love of composting, my father, who grew up in China where compost was part of everyday life. As a civil and sanitary engineer and someone who loved to solve big problems, he went on to design and build bio-systems that could literally handle the municipal waste and sewage sludge of huge cities. To him compost was a work of art!

This entry was published on October 22, 2013 at 8:28 am. It’s filed under Abstract, Garden, John Snell, Patterns, People, Spring, Summer, Winter and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

6 thoughts on “Compost is beautiful

  1. great squash peeling photo; very colorful.

  2. John, this is one of my favorite posts! 🙂 I’ve always loved dirt–good, plain old dirt. I miss my garden, when I’d plop down and end up totally muddy (and happy). To think that you are CREATING “dirt” with the compost is simply astounding. Beauty comes in all forms, and compost deserves the honor you show it in this post!

  3. hip hip for compost! here we are lading the garden with it, the year’s production.

  4. Got a truck load of dry, powdered human poop…where do you want it dumped?… Front yard or back?

  5. I’m with you. I love to compost too.

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