As sprouts are getting bigger and we are getting a sense of the prospects of a bountiful fall harvest, we are also trying to focus on the the long-term strength of our soil. Two of our four homemade compost bins are full of dead grass, cardboard and coffee. When we dig into the piles a small wave of smoke emerges warming our hands, which reminds us of being a child and seeing how long you can keep your hand in the oven. The heat generated is cooking the pile and using the “brown” of the dead grass and cardboard and the “green” of the coffee grounds to create rich compost.
We plan to create new compost by the end of the fall that we can use in our compost tea. While one visitor mentioned the controversy around compost tea, we have learned from CalRecycle that it is only controversial when simple sugars like molasses are added to expedite microbial growth. The problem is that it can also foster e. coli and other harmful microbes. That is why we are sticking to a simple recipe that just uses compost, water and an air pump as Coach suggests.
Overall, we want to keep improving our efforts to strengthen the microbial content of the soil and cannot wait to add four more compost bins to the farm next week to make sure we have space for school paper, coffee grounds and grass clippings!