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View Diary: Climate Change SOS: Soil is the Solution, or the most important environmental story I'll ever write (248 comments)

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  •  I worry about that too (10+ / 0-)

    And don't put paper into my compost.

    I have a good sized bin (required by my HOA) but am able to fill it with non-paper items. My neighbors help, as they are more than glad to have me compost their leaves, etc.

    (And their yards are filling with plants they are getting from me. MY PLAN! IT'S WORKING!!! BWAAA HAAA HAAA!!!!)

    I hope that, during my lifetime, there will be a liberal president.

    by rantsposition on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 08:38:41 PM PDT

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    •  I think in a big composting facility (8+ / 0-)

      the paper gets easily and quickly broken down because of the volume and heat created, whereas paper is more problematic in smaller garden composts.

      Definitely true that you want to recycle paper first, but that's easiest to do with high grade office paper. Once you get to newspaper type quality it's much harder to recycle and that's where the compost comes in handy.

      Check out this interesting process including pictures at Jepson Prairie Organics, SF's composting facility.

      Hope is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense regardless of how it turns out. - Vaclav Havel

      by citisven on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 09:09:56 PM PDT

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      •  Thanks for this! (3+ / 0-)

        Very interesting what they do.

        (I do the same, with a pitchfork...)

        I hope that, during my lifetime, there will be a liberal president.

        by rantsposition on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 09:23:22 PM PDT

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      •  Aha, well, at least there's a screening step (4+ / 0-)

        that I imagine will catch things like the plastic linings on orange juice cartons (embedded between waxed paper layers). Still, it's a little strange that compost that may have traces of paper glue gets used for organic farming. And then there's all the stuff that goes in SF compost bins that's not supposed to be there at all...

        Among more benign things, I was surprised to find out that cork is a no-go. Apparently its natural preservative properties, useful for keeping wine over time, mean it doesn't break down!

        Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

        by Simplify on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 10:04:44 PM PDT

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      •  I wondered if you added that link. (5+ / 0-)

        I love the picture tour and the explanations of the process.

        I compost on a very small scale. My main product is coffee grounds. I just put them in the empty plastic containers for  a bit or sprinkle all of it outside the side door in a patch. sometimes I set the coffee containers out for a time and let them bake in the sun. I have 3 avocado trees that are a foot tall already and it looks like squash or melons that just popped up. I throw all my stuff out there.

        I had a small patch of houttuynia cordata [fish mint] and now it is taking over. The dirt is shale and clay and not very accommodating, although I have a bumper crop of english ivy due to tons of pine needles. Slowly the small patch I have been able to enrich improves.

        So I guess a gaggle of large coffee containers doesn't look that wonderful cached along the walk snuggled near the fish mint, but oh well.

        I have tons of pine needles I'd be willing to donate to a large composting facility though......gawd I hate pine needles......I must have 200 long leaf pines, tall ones, like 80 footers that make life miserable.

        If you don't live in a controlled neighborhood you can half compost and find some interesting things that resprout, like the avocadoes. Coffee grounds are the greatest. After brewing they are pretty much PH neutral and can be used as potting soil.

        Fun stuff.

        •  This sounds (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          WheninRome, ladybug53, citisven

          almost exactly like my house, but I don't have clay, I have decent soil.

          I had a small patch of houttuynia cordata [fish mint] and now it is taking over. The dirt is shale and clay and not very accommodating, although I have a bumper crop of english ivy due to tons of pine needles. Slowly the small patch I have been able to enrich improves.
          Why do the pine needles support the ivy?  The previous owners planted ivy and it's a complete nightmare, it is trying to eat my house.  I also have a ton of pine trees.  I even have fish mint, I love the smell of it when I walk on it.

          Where do you live at?

          •  I live in (3+ / 0-)

            Frederick, Maryland. I just happen to live in a swath that is shale-y. This area is geologically diverse. I live on the high side of a river.

            Pine needles acidify the soil, which ivy apparently likes. Conversely my grass is not all that happy. Not that I attend that much to my grass. I have a small patch in the front that seems like round thin blades that does well. Farther out whatever is there is green, but maybe not grass, or some grass with weeds kept level by mowing.

            Azaleas and Rhodies do well in acid soil, as do blueberries. Grass and Brassicas hate it. Fish mint ostensibly likes less acid because it has responded to my half baked composting  and has died out elsewhere on my lot.

            I'd like to cut down every last pine tree. I hate them. I have lots of other trees so it wouldn't be that big of a deal, except for the expense.

            Frankly gardening has been depressing these last few years. Deer are rampant here and destroy everything. They even get in my fenced yard areas. I hate them.

            •  You're not too far (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              WheninRome

              from me, I'm in North Carolina.

              That ivy is like a demon that haunts me.  The weather is cooling off nicely, I'll look at farmer's almanac and the next time it says to do weeding I'm going to take a serious crack at it.  If you cut them all the way back and then dump a ton of white vinegar on the area, that seems to help.  But lord help me there's a big area covered with them.

              The fish mint is actually a swamp plant.  If you did a graywater system with the fish mint flooding whenever you drained the water, they'd do great.  You have to use non-phosphorous soap, though.

        •  I have a large amount (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          citisven

          of pine needles every year from six large trees.  They don't compose very well - they also create an acidic compost which is not good for many plants, however, if your soil is highly alkaline the acidity is good for the soil.
           I have a compost pit that's 40 years old.  I don't put meat scrapes in my compost as it attracts  vermin and clouds of flies. (I run the meat scrapes through my chickens and use the manure.)
          I think the city wide composting is a great idea.  It not only sequesters carbon but reduces (or eliminates ) The need for chemical fertilizers as well as restoring soil that has suffered years of chemical abuse.
          Equally important is reintroducing healthy earthworms into the restored soil they will further improve and maintain healthy soil.
          Excellent diary T & R.

          "if you don't make peaceful revolution possible, you make violent revolution inevitable." ….JFK. .......{- 8.25 / -5.64}

          by carver on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 08:54:07 AM PDT

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