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The Compost Dump


large pile of compost along sidewalk in neighborhood
My neighbor's "compost" dump

I came home yesterday evening to the compost dump, a giant pile of “compost” sticking out into the street and across the sidewalk of my next door neighbor's yard. This is perplexing to me because it is something that I have seen happening all spring long. Huge piles of city waste or soil yard compost dumped all over my neighborhood.


The good news is that my poor unsuspecting neighbors somehow know that compost is good. The bad news is that the compost that they are buying is toxic junk that is sourced from tainted green waste from points all over my town. It’s all sort of composted green waste from green bin recycling to gardener's rubbish that has been sprayed with a variety of wonderful synthetics and chemicals, then dropped off at waste recycling or city waste sites to be magically transformed into “garden compost."

How exactly do you take stuff from a source sprayed with fertilizer, pesticide, fungicide and herbicide and make it good, clean “garden compost?" The answer is you don’t! C’mon, really? Am I the only person alive in 2023 who is questioning what is in those heaping helpings of badness dumped in my neighbors' yards? It’s waste and not good waste, not that there really is any such thing as good waste.


Waste is defined as a noun meaning material that is not wanted, the unusable remains or byproducts of something. Now that is a perfectly sensible definition. Not wanted. Yes, correct. Not in my yard! Unusable remains. I concur. The only good place for the Big Chem Garden Product Sprayed Litter is at the dump. The city dump, where with all of the other garbage it can break down through it’s half-life until some alien-like bacteria can break it down further into biohazard biology to further break down the garbage mountain that we humans are creating in cities and counties all over this planet. That’s a topic for another blog.


And lastly, and maybe my favorite is byproducts of something. A byproduct of the toxic green waste that gets recycled or dumped at the dump is not compost. It’s a toxic green waste byproduct because you can’t compost out the poison, so it never transforms into the correct biological state for it not to taint your garden and kill off the soil microbes and soil animals that good, clean, real organic compost is supposed to foster and feed.

I guess the issue that I’m facing in my neighborhood is that no-one, or very few of us, are actually composting our own green byproduct at home. In my gardening classes, I teach people how to grow with real organic protocols so that they can have real organic compost as a byproduct. Everyone in the organic gardening classes I’ve taught love this concept. The inputs equal outputs piece of the organic story. If you eat bad food, I tell my class, then they will probably not have a good outcome when it comes to their health somewhere down the road. Just as if you feed your garden and the soil microbes bad “compost,” it will kill off the good microbes and create disease somewhere down the road. So, the moral of this piece of the story is grow real organic and use the organic clippings and pruning’s to create real, healthy organic compost to feed your garden.


guava tree pruning being added to home compost bin
Chopping up guava leaves from organic guava tree prunings

One of the issues people often bring up is that they can’t make enough compost from their own clippings and prunings. I get it. That’s true. That’s why we started making and selling our real organic, farm made, non-GMO Bu’s Blend Compost with the biodynamic preps in it to gardeners all over the country. They couldn’t make enough compost and we could. There’s a silver lining here. You don’t need a lot of compost. You can use small amounts like 1/8” or 1/4" as a topdressing that you water in with a shower head watering wand and have all of the benefits, in fact more benefits than using crummy city or soil yard compost. Real organic compost is loaded with all of the major and minor nutrients, trace minerals and trillions and trillions of beneficial microbes to feed your plants, break down the organic matter in your garden and unlock the nutrients in your soil for your plants to use.

This is how nature does it. This is how we should do it. I just saw my neighbor's teenage son take a wheel barrow full of that stinky stuff down the path into his backyard. He looked super happy. He only has about 600 more loads to go! I know what he’s dong this weekend. Hopefully, he doesn’t do what my last neighbor did and because he had so much “compost” dumped at his place, he put out about 4”-6” around everything. That’s another problem with getting a compost dump. You don’t add 4”-6” of alleged “compost” ever on anything. You don’t even ever need to put down 2"-4” of woody bagged compost from the nursery that the bag says. You just need 1/8”-1/4” to do the job, if it's a good, clean, real organic compost.


large pile of farm made organic compost being screened
Real Farm Made Organic Compost being screened at our Number 2 Organics farm

Compost with real stuff with frequency and in small amounts and start running monthly compost teas. I swear you will have the most amazing garden ever after a little while. It doesn’t even take that long. It just takes consistency. So the next time you hear from your neighbor that they are thinking of going with the dump, the compost dump, please refer them to this blog before they do something that is going to take a lot of time and energy to put out in their garden, and not even do what they are hoping it will do. Thanks.


This has been a public service announcement without guitars for all of the poor unsuspecting microbes, soil animals, birds, butterflies, cats, dogs, children, adults, gardeners and neighbors that may have been a victim of the compost dump.



© Randy Ritchie 2023

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