Working with Soil Creatures–Composting

Composting is a stopgap measure that Permaculturists use until the land is re-established. Composting in place is the preferred method because it reduces labor and works with the whole ecosystem instead of imposing on it. Examples are sheet mulch works where the plants are and cover crops restore the dirt while they grow and when they are turned under in place. These are winter crops like buckwheat, white clover, oats, etc. I have an experimental line of buckwheat growing in the back yard right now to see if it helps hold the soil and begins to build it into the fertile community it once was. Plants themselves are the restorers of soil. I’ll go into that in detail when I get to the subject of what to plant.

My next steps are composting. In one place I merely buried some kitchen scraps for a while and then left it for planting sometime in the future. This might work if you have a long time. Secondly I created a compost bin with an old plastic garbage can. My 2 year old grandson and I drilled holes in its sides. He loves tools, especially ones that he calls machines. We then filled it with kitchen scraps, some yard waste and a little manure. We are still adding scraps. We lay it down and roll it a couple of times a week to keep things distributed. Hopefully it will be rich compost in a few weeks.

My next venture is Vermiculture which the founder and director of our local Time Bank is going to help me out with in exchange for Time Hours. I’ll let you know more details as the worms make them available. Here’s the design for the bin I’m going to build in the next few days. ”-  http://whatcom.wsu.edu/ag/compost/easywormbin.htm

Here’s a great little video on Time Banking: youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_nW__d0Yr4]

I’m fascinated by this ancient way of composting by burying rotting tree branches and forest scraps. I think it adds heat to raised bed created, allowing things to grow that require more heat than is otherwise available. I may have to wait for a cooler climate to experiment with that one.I read that you can plant on it right away. It is basically buried rotting wood. Find out about that here: http://hubpages.com/hub/Hugelkultur-Using-Woody-Waste-in-Composting

Composting:

1.Bin Composting

2.Buried Scraps

3.Vermiculture

4.Hugelkultur

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