All Hands on Deck


It’s time to turn the compost pile again, and as soon as I have the pile broken down to rebuild it, it is all hands on deck. It’s been cooking at between 135ºF and 155ºF since the third, and I’ve turned it twice. Each time I turn it, which entails lifting the wire frame off it, breaking it down, and rebuilding it so that everything is well mixed, the chickens come running, wanting to lend a hand.


You can take a pinch of developing compost, dilute it with some water, put a drop of the water on a microscope slide and dive into another world of microorganisms. So many invisible living beings, too many to count. Bacteria, amoebae, protozoa, fungi, wriggling nematodes, microscopic insects. Thousands and thousands in a single drop of water. Things we never see, and yet they are what make life possible for us. The microorganisms are what feed our plants. They purify our water. They weave together the fabric of life which sustains us. They make it possible to enjoy a bowl of fresh greens for supper.


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