Tag Archives: compost

Weaving Black Gold

Rumpelstiltskin is off the hook on this one.  Black gold is easy if you have a bit of patience.  Black gold is to be found in the garden.  More specifically in the compost heap.  Then to be most carefully hidden in the garden.

This is a compost heap.   Or at least the start of one.   A layer of green ( fresh ) and brown ( dried ) plant matter about one foot deep.  On top of that will go a layer of dirt.  Then repeat.

Eventually it will reach about 4 to 5 feet high.  Plant matter, a little dirt, and a lid to keep it from getting too wet.  Like this…

Ready for cooking – no – actually already cooking.  Kitchen scraps, egg shells and coffee grounds can go in too.  No meat or dairy products though.  If you need the exercise you can turn the compost pile every two or three weeks.   If you are patient, have a little room, and have more important  garden tasks you can go for the slow burn.  Just let it sit till next spring.  Then you should get something that looks like this..

Settled down to half its original height this stuff is fully formed product of transmutation.  The molds, bacteria, bugs, and worms have all combined to work their magic to make a loose crumbly black gold that will give any soil a shot of nutrients and a dose of good texture .   Real soil is a complex living community.

Since it is fall and a whole new starter crop of fallen leaves are on their way, this bin will be emptied into the ‘vault’.  A holding coral of sorts.  Each fall planting will get a few scoops of compost mixed in the soil.  And the rest will be held for spring.

These are the vaults of a gold based economy that actually works.

Black gold – for garden use only.   Weave a little in your garden and watch the results.  And if an angry little man shows up …. remember…. Rumpelstiltskin !


the sorting hat and other magic

As magical object go Hogwarts sorting hat does a fair job of delivering what’s needed.  It sorts out new students to their houses and fetches the sword of Gryffindor in a pinch.  There are other mundane magical devices out there.  Some so mundane and harmless that they are left in the care of ordinary muddles!  There is in fact one such device sitting next to the kitchen sink.  I am not sure of its exact name.   It could be the old plastic coffee container or it could be the stinking sorter.  I do mostly know what it does.  It sits there while kitchen scraps are un-cerimoniously stuffed insde.  carrot tops, greens and all, onion peels, egg shells and any other organic stuff (anything that is not a meat or dairy product)  when it gets full it is given over to the drudge.  for schlepping out to the sorting heap.

magical sorting device

Now the true magic begins.  An eye of toad, actually the whole toad might just dig in, some worms and a bunch of spiders and other bugs along with some bacteria and assorted crobes (microbes that is)  jump in an swirl things about.  Oh and add a pinch of dirt, don’t forget to throw that in too!    It gets steaming hot.  Not hot enough to singe Hagrid’s beard but hot enough to (slow) cook.  And in a couple of months compost is served.   I did say slow cook.   Heck even magic takes a bit of thyme.

And now for the last magical trick…  Scoop up some compost and add a couple of dashes to each plant in your garden.   Not too much – just a couple of dashes.    Oh and don’t forget to step back smartly.  You would not want to get blooming poked in the eye!

It is 11 PM – do you know where your dandelions are ?

It is almost spring – by the calendar that is.  And it is spring by the weather.  This year spring has come in like a dandelion.  The first dandelion of spring has bloomed.  It is out there in the yard back in the seedling bed.    The daylily seedlings did not scream or run.  They evidently do not find the dandelion so fearsome.  And neither do I.

For now it can roar bright yellow in the garden.  Perhaps some day it will roar in dandelion wine.  Until then it can pull up nutrients from deep underground with its magnificent tap root.  And then it can get tossed into the compost pile and enrich the soil.

Welcome dandelion.  Welcome spring.

Spring is sprunging …. finally

It is spring – enough of wondering what to post.

Taking a walk, or was it a slosh, around the garden there were greening and blooming things to see. Crocuses are sitting in the rain, waiting for a little sun to open them up. There are perennials starting to show signs of growing green. The daffodils have pushed off the snow piles and watched from above as they melt away.
There are daylilies sprouting and ready to turn into fans.  The early yellow daylilies that were here when we moved in…. waaaaay back when..  are ready to follow the Columbines into bloom.  No they are just the first green leaves.   But that is just what they are green, reaching and unfolding.
It should not be too long and then the hint, the promise, will be a bloom to see and enjoy
The beds are ready to offer up grass and broadleaves that have crept in again. Weeds… hmmm or just fresh fodder for the compost piles. In a few weeks they will be hungry again as their bounty is spread around the yard.