Tuesday, November 24, 2015

When You Compost Your Waste You Are Making New Soil! What is not to like?!

Masters in Composting.

I am excited to report that the penny has finally dropped. I knew that doing the Master Composter training, I would learn how to compost! I planned to find out exactly what could and should go into the compost bin and I was enjoying asking my questions, of which I had many. There is some thing about learning that is so stimulating. Subjects get more fascinating the more you learn, I find. So I knew that one of the days we would be building the physical systems for composting. This is what is possible beyond the green bin for kitchen waste and the brown bin for garden waste. 

From left to right, we made a giant wormery, a leaf store, a green bin, a ready made slatted compost bin (€60 and flimsy and no lid at which we all tutted knowingly) and a 3-compartment compost system made from reclaimed pallets.  

More than a bin…a means to save lives!

This was the moment I realized, (mid conversation with the amazing tutor Nuala from the Preserve the Pete Bogs centre) that what comes out of a compost system is SOIL. We are making soil! I thought we were getting rid safely of waste, letting it biodegrade. I thought we might, once we knew what we were doing, cream off a bit of fertilizer from our compost bin. A nutrient rich substance that could be added to beds, like broken down horse manure…but no it is literally the creation of soil itself. Did everyone else know this?!
Waterworld - One of my shows touching on the world wide water situation


I have been on a bit of a campaign, on my radio shows, to raise awareness about the plight of mother Earth. 2015 is also the Year of Soil! If you think about it, we shouldn’t take soil for granted. The whole massive planet only has a a foot or so of soil on its surface and it is from that that all life feeds itself, via grazing, growing crops or gathering nectar. More nerve-wracking again, I learnt that 70% of all the soil world-wide is now toxic from having been stripped of its nutrients and over fertilized to compensate. That has gone up from 40% in the last 20 years (same speed perhaps as Monsanto's sales of the poison Round Up). I dreamt of facilitating the delivery of water to drought ridden place to start the recovery of their soil and their independent growing capacity.

But now I see we can literally make soil from waste. That is so epic. Furthermore, a hot pile that a gardener can keep turning and keep at 60 degrees, will make compost in just 8 weeks. This is a whole lot faster than the two to three years it would normally take to break down. So transfer that information to a hot country: waste broken down into friable, rich, fertile soil in a matter of weeks. That could be revolutionary! 

Why Start Gardening? 

Gardening and Composting are really relevant to everyone. We need to focus on organic growing and independence from all the destructive food industries – the chemicals of preserving, fertilizing, pest- and herbiciding and flavouring. They are all totally toxic and accumulate in the body. They are on every item, in the supermarket but invisible, on our vegetables and fruit. Even if you’re not growing yet, your household is pretty much definitely producing waste. Lets make sure that its all going to make some much needed soil! 

Here at Harmony Hall, I got my Geodome built and it shone like a Venetia beacon of sacred geometry and hope. I had some brilliant broken down horse manure that    

I now realize was actually a gift of completely new great soil.

Life is still full of highs and lows. The geodome was there, providing potatoes, sprouts, courgettes, carrots a little flourishing fig tree… until storm Barney tore it asunder last week. 

As for the horse, today is his first anniversary. 

We must pick ourselves up and keep our courage and conviction strong, that we can make a difference in this world. He surely did!

To honor Windy, I handed in an assignment and then went to meet the great friend who helped me the day he died. By sheer amazing coincidence, today was the day he was dropping off 5 cubic metres of soil to the Community Garden I'm involved in, in Bagenalstown. I thought to myself, it might take us a long time to make that much soil but not if everyone is composting their waste. Peelings and pips and cores and twigs and leaves and lawn trimmings. Put them all in the pot and we will have a significantly healthier nature world-wide to play with. 

www.govegan.ie Poster Campaign

 In terms of reviving hope, I must say that seeing this poster at the end of my own road completely made my day! This is the GoVegan.ie poster campaign. Sandra Higgins who is one of the lady's behind it from Back to Daylight Sanctuary, has been interviewed on Newstalk and many other radio stations, in the last month. What a star, what a movement. At last its happening! 

It reads "Milk, A Mother's Worse Loss" and the dear little calf is off to the right deprived of its mother's milk and of course no particular future ahead either. It was great as the Interviewer said "but surely cow's have to be milked". That was such a great opportunity to point out that cows only produce milk when they give birth like other mammals and so they don't need to be milked, they can be either not be made pregnant of their calf can have the milk, for whom the milk was produced in the first place. Really well done everyone who standing up and sorting out these misconceptions and illusions about animals.

Today, I was bogged down by people talking about certain plants being harmful to livestock. "Livestock" just think about that word. Surely its so inappropriate to think of something whose life means as much to them as ours does to us, as stock? Still, I have a few days to wind down and think about what I am going to say on Kilkenny Community Radio this Friday at 5pm when I am being interviewed. 

Stay calm, I think, don't try and say it all at once. One friend even said to me, who is your audience?! That is funny that I didn't even think of that, I have so much information that I can't wait to put across, I just go for it…could it be time for a rethink?! NO!!

I haven’t even got started into explaining the second weekly challenge we did at the Master Composters course. Suffice to say it is run by the global organization called Stop Food Waste so maybe you can join up at one near you. I guarantee you'll love it!

Raw Vegan Organic Diet 
Go for it, No Half Measures!!

And what about going vegan, you'd probably love that too! I for one have been getting into raw organic vegan recipes. Here are some chocolate covered bananas. Just coconut, raw chocolate and agave syrup. Then I made a raw cheesecake featuring cashew nuts and berries. Then there were some epic main meals like Easy Asian Sauce on Broccoli. I will look out the recipes maybe and share them here or just look on line, as my last attempt at a recipe took hours and was a formatting low point of any blog to date! Not this time, everything is going to plan!

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