Running an organic farm requires you to deal with compost. Not just deal with compost, but to praise compost. It’s the base of fertility at Good Heart Farmstead, and without it—without the manure turned soil—we’d be left trying to coax vegetables out of acidic, nutrient deficient soil. In short, it wouldn’t go so well.
Compost isn’t so different from life.
It’s only when we learn how to turn the waste pile (the disappointments, the fears, the failures) that we find the lessons, and in turn the beauty. Mental and emotional compost becomes the fertility for our dreams and pursuits. In that sense, I’ve done a lot of composting over the past 5 years of starting a farm. Yesterday, I wrote about the worst case scenario. What is the best case? The best case for me is to give everything away…for free.
Because if I can give everything away for free, it means we have created a farm of abundance, of sustenance, of community.
If I can give everything away for free, it means we’ve created a farm and life that is continuously growing and composting and creating a healthy, fertile foundation.
I will tell you right now that we aren’t quite there. I’m not sure if it’s possible (I mean, we pay money for the compost we spread, and we pay money for the seeds we sow, and in turn we ask for money for the vegetables we grow). But that’s the point. I want something that seems impossible; something that brightens me and challenges me and makes me feel freer. Because imagine: everything for free!
Of course, compost isn’t free. It takes making the pile, turning it, spreading it. It takes getting close to the shit and browned banana peels.
I’ll do it.
I’ll get close. I’ve grown enough tomatoes now to know that by the time the fruit comes along, the taste has transformed from old kitchen scraps into the zingy sweetness of summer. And I’ve grown enough to know that when you get close, when you turn the pile, when you feed the soil, there is always a bounty. And that bounty? We give it away. For free.