|Howdy from Richardson, Texas. Thank you for checking out this pre-release, very rough draft of the Leave The Leaves web project.* I hope the project helps in your backyard composting efforts. Please email me to be notified when the project is updated, to ask compost-related questions, or to offer constructive criticism. Rob Dentremont aka The Pile Pro|
*The term "site" does not make sense to me. Therefore, I refer to this work as a web project, and not a web site.
|Leave The Leaves Homepage Composting Myths And Questionable Conventional Wisdom||
Compost Is A Verb, Not A Noun
Greetings from Grace Valley Community Composting, located in Richardson, Texas.
The word “compost”, when used as a noun, does not make sense. Now - “compost” is unarguably a “thing”, just like “oil” is unarguably a thing. However, if your car is a quart low, or if you need to make salad dressing, or if a door hinge squeaks, are you going to reach for...”oil?” Of course not, you will reach for motor oil, maybe olive oil, and WD-40 spray lube. Oil in its raw form is “crude”, and it gets refined into many variants, and there are variants of crude to start with. Whatever “oil” you need is the result of a precisely controlled process and formula. There is no fudging, no “a little of this and some of that”, no “four months to a year” timeframe, no “make it in whichever manner is best suited to you.”
I do not call what I make “compost”, I call it composted mulch. Raw mulch is a mix of leaves, coarse leaf fragments, and food scraps. The process aims for a 16 week timeframe but sometimes the schedule slips. The piles can be in 70F or 40F ambient temperatures. There is no way I am going to strictly control the starting materials. Sixteen weeks, seventeen weeks, 18 weeks, whatever. Spring, summer, fall, or winter - no matter. Selected* input goes through my composting (verb) process, and the result is composted stuff, separated into 4 grades by sifting.
*Not all materials go through the composting process. If materials were shredded by a lawnmower, their first stop is the sifting station, where they are separated into Grades A - D (A < 1/4" < B < 1/2" < C < 1" < D). Only Grade D material is composted - the rest are perfectly good for “raw” mulches as they are. Composting them would be a waste of time and energy. The nonsensical “weed seeds” and “pathogens” are weapons of Big Compo and will be treated in another article.