I’ve just finished my second day at the Maine Compost School. I’ve learned a lot of things; most of them far beyond the scope of building a pile of vegetable scraps and leaves in the back yard. Compost is a serious matter and there is a lot of math and science involved. I’m not sure I will be the valedictorian, although during a small group exercise, I had a great public relations idea. It had to do with the potential hedonic tone of 2 tons of fish waste.
Here is a short list of the practical things I’ve learned so far, in no particular order:
1. If you don’t have a tape measure handy to measure the size of compost pile, it’s good to know the length of your walking pace. You can measure lots of things just by knowing your pace.
2. Dogs like chicken manure.
3. It’s great to take a class with a male to female ration of 9:1. When there is a “bio break” there are no lines and no waiting.
4. Every composting expert I’ve met this week has a passion for their work which is difficult to describe. If I were a more mystical person, I would call it an aura. They all exuded a “I really love this sh*t” vibe.
5. Everyone in my hometown who is still working leaves for work between 5:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. They pass me when I’m on my way to the library to post my blog. Most wave.
6. There is a right way and a wrong way to climb onto a tractor. Every tractor has a set of stairs; climb them going up and climb them back down the same way.
Luckily, when I got home from school and went over to my garden, Uncle Bob had taken our tractor out of the barn and I was able to practice climbing up and down the stairs.
In the summer, Uncle Bob keeps our tractor in an undisclosed location closer to The Farm. It’s a “summer resort” for tractors. Maybe now that I am well-versed in tractor safety, he’ll let me take it for a spin.
What did you learn yesterday?