One type of gardening completely changes the way we think about agriculture, plus it’s eco-friendly and easy on your wallet.
KX News took a tour of the Menoken Farm to learn all about composting.
Simply put, it’s the breakdown of organic material. Instead of spending the money on fertilizer and risking its effects, experts say you can use what you would throw away, to grow your plants.
They say it’s little effort because with composting, nature does the work for you.
Expert David Johnson and his wife, traveled all the way from California to share what he’s learned over the years. He says it’s nothing new. Instead, it’s going back to the type of farming we did generations ago.
The California State University-Chico Adjunct Professor shares, “Almost everybody we talked to had a grandma that had a great garden, that had a compost pile.”
David’s wife and research partner Hui-Chun Johnson adds, “This is not original. We’re just going back to nature. We’re just going back to what makes sense.”
Here’s how it works:
David Johnson explains, “Well, you need something to compost: leaves or straw, or stall clean-out or horse manure; just any byproduct that you probably need to get rid of.”
Johnson says starting off can be tough, creating a system that will hold in the right amount of moisture. Hui-Chun says it has to be in a breathable container, but a plastic bin with holes in it should do the trick.
Once you’ve got a system down, Johnson says he hasn’t seen any plant you can’t grow.
A child visiting with his family from Mandan, Brandon Johnson shares, “Cucumbers, peppers, peas, strawberries, raspberries.”
The youngest gardener in attendance has already tried composting with his family.
He explains, “Basically, we took the manure from the cows into a ton of buckets, and we just poured it over our garden.”
David Johnson says composting will eliminate the need for fertilizers and work wonders for the environment.
He adds, “The issues that we’re having with our health are very strongly related to the agro-chemicals that we’re using.”
Hui-Chun shares, “Farming is a business as well, so if it improves their profitability and also minimizes input, that is a win-win situation.”
After all, it’s all about re-using what’s already at your feet, including the food you don’t eat.
Johnson reminded us that soil is a living organism just like us, and just like animals. That’s why we need to watch how we treat it, so it’s there for our kids.