Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Digging up the "Black Gold"

January 23, 2013

The past few days we have had some pretty sunny days, with temps in the 60's.  After the weeks of rain and cold temperatures, i could not help myself today................I brought out the shovel and wagon, and went digging for the "Black Gold".'s not the gold stuff the westerners got rich on, but it's the black material that makes my garden beds rich in organic matter.  It's the dark organic material buried under a layer of leaves in my compost pile. 

Composting doesn't have to be all fancy or complicated.  Most gardeners make compost by simply combining their kitchen waste, such as veggie scraps, coffee grounds, eggshells, and fruit scraps, along with leaves, and other garden waste.  Hmmmmmmm  I think i see something green growing in the pile......Looks like a few potatoes!!!!!!!  We also have access to manures, which contributes greatly and gets things heated up to start the decaying process.  I usually clean out the chicken tractor, and the horse stall and dump to one side of the compost pile.   I add scoops of the manure to the pile throughout the year, when I'm flipping the pile periodically.  No need to buy special activators or inoculants to get the process started, there are plenty of natural microbes in the waste to promote decomposition on it's own.

 I usually contribute to this pile all year, and in late winter or early spring i dig to the bottom layers to gather my "black gold". 

My chickens also help with this process, when i let them free range, they love getting into the compost pile, scratching and aerating the pile for me.  They also love the tasty veggie scraps they get to nibble on and help break those down.

So today i got started getting those beds enriched and ready for spring planting.  I ordered some heirloom seeds this week from Seed Savers, looking forward to giving them a try. 

Hope this encourages you to try your hand at composting.  It's not difficult, all you need to start  this project is a small spot in your backyard and start stockpiling scraps, and before you know it..............You will be digging your own "Black Gold"

Shared this with The Backyard Farming Connection

 awaiting spring.................................Sheryl


  1. Yes the 60 degree temps this week have been temping but the nights are still cold, I finally planted 1/2 of my flat of brocolli, I let Arugula go to seed in my big raised planter box and it looks like there are a few weeds and the rest looks like Arugula. Unfortunately I did not cover the garden bed with tarps and it is full of weeds. Take care enjoy the nice weather.

  2. Thanks for making composting look easy! Everything I read about it makes it seem so hard. We do have a compost pile but don't turn it as much as we should, so I don't know if it's working or not. I do know that chicken manure is a wonderful fertilizer! We usually take the pine shavings from the coop and put them on top of our plants, kind of like mulch. The nutrients soak right into the soil.

    Last year we bought some seeds from Seed Savers Exchange and loved them! We're buying more soon.

    Clicked over from your Homestead Highlight feature :)

  3. That is some GOOD looking compost! Your garden will be very, very happy! :)

  4. Hi there, came on over and I am now your newest follower. I remember having a pretty large compost heap in our yard when I was a kid. Dad would get out and turn it and then in the fall we would dig it up and take it to our garden area. Can't wait to get started here.

    Snooks @ 3Beeze Homestead

  5. I need a kick in the behind on this topic - compost!! My former bin rotted out and now I just pile it next to a tree away from the house/yard.. and do nothing with it! You have inspired :) Ahhh, would be so good to dig in the dirt about now! -Tammy

  6. Thanks Tammy glad i can inspire. Mine is just piled up next to the tree as well, it sorta does it's own thing, i don't work at it much, my chickens do the flipping for me, lol.......