I hope it stops raining today at some point so I can go out and take pictures of the gorgeous compost on some of the gardens.
I know - oooooooh! Sounds thrilling!
On Tuesday I picked up the kids after school/daycare and got them Happy Meals to eat on the ride to get a yard of compost. Not just ANY compost, either. It's the "Raised Bed Mix" - one of several types of compost you can get from Earth Care Farm. The place (if you're into this sort of thing) is awesome. Huge mountains of compost...good stuff, with - well here's an excerpt from their website:
We start with farm animal manure, such as horse, chicken, cow, sheep, goat, and rabbit manures. These we gather along with whatever bedding material was used, such as sawdust, wood shavings or straw. We also mix in elephant, camel and other exotic manures from Roger Williams Park Zoo.
Other raw materials added include: clean gurry (fish scraps), shell fish, seaweed, paper, wood chips, spent bark mulch, wood ashes, mulch hay, flower, vegetable, and shrub trimmings and also food scraps. Our major bulking agent is leaves which we receive from local towns. These ingredients are lended, mixed, and turned in an aerobically managed compost system on our certified organic farm. It takes approximately 18 months before the ingredients are properly cured and considered mature, finished compost.
Nice, huh? So the owner loaded up the bed of our truck and away we went.
Then I spent the afternoon clearing out dead leaves and other debris from most of the flower gardens in the front yard. Mainly the irises, as their rhizomes need sun and dryness to flourish. I transplanted a few that weren't doing all that well - hopefully they'll improve this year in their new spot. The kids helped for about 3.4 minutes and then grew tired of all that manual labor. So they played in the back yard or drew with chalk on the driveway.
When Bill got home he was all excited about the compost and got that truck bed cleared out pretty quickly. Julia "helped" by standing near a wheelbarrow while he shoveled compost into it. I would have taken a picture, but my hands were too muddy to touch the camera. I really need to remember to wear gloves.
Anyway, Bill distributed the compost to the raised bed and to the other vegetable garden areas in the yard, and I added some to the windowboxes as well.
Eventually, it was too dark and too cold to do any more outside. But things are looking really good. Nice black compost out there...ready for planting.