Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Compost Innovations

In my travels this week-end, I had opportunity to repeat the phrase, "We were so early, we were late" several times. In the New Mexico solid waste management business, it is more appropriate to say "We are so far behind, we are leading the way."

At Soilutions, as strange as it may sound, we have to invent every means of production. At first, fifteen years ago, those innovations came fast and furious. But over the years, we got in a routine, got comfortable, got efficient.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am happy to announce that today we had a MAJOR break-through in the process of compost production.

Check it out.

When I see creativity and innovation of this magnitude, it makes me proud to work here.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Vermicultural Mycology

This morning, in a rush to get the kids up and ready for the day, coffee drunk, breakfast made, and house organized for the early morning guests (long story), I decided to take the kitchen waste from the last couple of days to the worms. The import of this is not that I recycled my food waste, but rather that I decided that it NEEDED to be done this morning. I could have and maybe should have taken the five minutes it usually takes to feed the worms to sweep the floor of dog hair, or to return the "camping" gear from last night's sleep over from the living room to the bedroom. I could have paid a couple of bills, scrubbed the toilet, picked up dog poop, shaved, loaded the washing machine, or ... you get the picture. But this morning I decided to reward myself with an early morning jaunt to the worm bin. (Without getting into details, the last couple of weeks have rewarded me fairly obviously when I have made seemingly selfish or pleasurable decisions rather than the responsible or logical ones.) So I gambled with being late and falling behind, with missing that first moment of sleepy innocence (which is getting more and more fleeting) when my boys arise, and took the containers to the worm bin.

As I said, I have recently been rewarded with my rash decisions. This morning was no different. Check out what greeted me when I lifted the lid...

I, as usual, have no idea what I am looking at here, but it is so darn beautiful that I don't really care.

I am often asked about things in a worm bin that aren't worms: rolly-pollys, flies, ants, mice, etc. My response is always "those macro creatures are just participating in the decomposition process. If they don't bother you, they shouldn't bother you." Mushrooms fall into the same category. Mushrooms and other fungi breakdown the "harder" woody material in your bin, i.e., wood, paper, and in this case, corn cobs.

So I snapped a couple of pictures, carefully dumped the kitchen waste away from the mushrooms, closed the lid, and recognized the fleeting beauty just offered to me.

Happy composting.