Compost & Soil Fertility

Compost & Soil Fertility

Composting activities are central to life at Polcum Springs.  Our gardens, the worms, soil biota, and our toileting systems depend on it!  Some of the gourmet additions to our compost include: chicken-poop-laden straw, food waste from the common kitchen, nitrogen-rich pond weed, straw harvested from our hillsides, garden cuttings, biochar, and biodynamic preparations.

Human “waste” is composted separately in our humanure composting toilets.  Our two outdoor composting toilets (known to frequent users as the Peristalsis Palace of Pleasure and the Private Privy) are facilities with good Bung Shui that residents and guests alike find quite enjoyable and contemplative.  The Humanure Handbook is our bible, and we take measures to make sure that humanure compost does not co-mingle with garden compost.  It mellows for at least a year before use on fruit trees and other perennials located outside the vegetable garden.

Edible mushrooms are another component of soil fertility – not to mention gourmet meals!  We have experimented with and hosted workshops on inoculating garden beds with Pearl Oyster and Garden Giant mushrooms.  Years later, the beds that have been inoculated hold more moisture, smell more “earthy”, have a higher organic matter content, and mycelium is running.  Thank goodness for fungal allies.