The Power of Compost
Compost works wonders for plants ... what might it do for ideas?
I’m growing something big out back. Not the back yard but the back of my brain, where my ideas fester and deepen even when I’m not actively writing. I piled up a big mound of thoughts about work and identity and status right after I (first) left work in March of 2021, but I knew they needed to age. I’ve been adding material ever since: heaps of hot astonishment from my brief stint working at Amazon, fresh sprinkles of amusement provided by the way people respond when you tell them you’ve retired (“Oh, so you do nothing now?”), and a splash of joy provided by my recent weeks working in a local bakery.
There’s a good story heating up back there—but it’s not quite ready, and I’m about to head off for several weeks of play, so I’m going to let time do its work and I’ll bring this essay out when it’s ready.
My colleaguewill grasp my metaphors (even if I’ve tortured them a bit.) She writes the Substack and I give her a lot of credit for the bounty in my garden and flower beds these days. I ran into Cass’s Substack when it first came out in April of 2022. While I have yet to build my own compost heap, this spring I did order 10 yards of compost from a local farm and used it to improve the soil in our newly-built raised beds and in existing beds. The boost that this brown magic gave our plants is nothing less than amazing. I will never be without compost in my life again.
Will composting my ideas prove as productive? Only time will tell. Meanwhile, I want to share with you some of the joys of compost.
First, we prepped some new garden beds …
Then we got some great compost from Bailey Compost, prepared some drip irrigation, and planted it up with starts and seeds …
Stuff grew like mad …
And now we’re harvesting (and will be until October).
Finally, here’s a little “With compost/without compost” comparison. Same plants, planted the same day. Guess which ones got compost?