We’re talking about composting and you may be wondering what exactly is compost. Well I just happen to have a pile right here, and if you reach in this, I’ve been working on this for about three months. It looks kind of like soil, it smells like great soil, doesn’t smell like garbage at all. But what I have in my hand right here, hard to believe, probably a billion or more microorganism in this one single handful of soil. Everything from bacteria, to protozoa, fungi, and even bigger animals or bigger creatures called Sal bugs, centipedes, earthworms. They’re what we call decomposers and they comprise a whole eco-system of their own. In fact underneath the earth, there may be actually be more biomass or more living things than there are on the surface of the earth. Charles Darwin, you know him best for his theory of evolution, but when he wasn’t working on that, he was had his nose right down on the ground studying earthworms. He was convinced that earthworms, that every bit of earth on the planet at one point or another had gone through an earthworm. His friends thought he was crazy, but actually, he was pretty much correct.
Earthworms and the decomposers are everywhere and where would we be without them? If we didn’t have these creatures munching on all kinds of dead stuff, dead leaves, grass clippings, dead animals, everything’s that once alive and dies is eaten up by these critters here and turned into composts. We call that decomposition and if they weren’t here doing that, we’d be over our heads in garbage and dead things. So thank goodness for the decomposers.
What I’m going to talk to you about further on is how we take advantage of these decomposers and harness that power to create our own composts that we could add to our garden soil. So what I’ll be talking to you about next is how compost happens.