The Flaming Vegan

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Blessings of Compost
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Blessings of Compost

For those of us who enjoy working in the garden, composting is a very important practice. It reduces the amount of garbage and returns the trace vitamins and minerals found in fruits and veggies back to the soil.

Since most of our diet is very vegetarian, we’ve been composting for many years now and using the compost soil in our small garden plots. Harsh chemicals contaminated the soil for many years before we moved to this location, and as a result, the land was still hesitant to recover. Few flowers would bloom and our first attempts at gardening were a disappointment.

In recent years, we’ve planted a few things and even set up a greenhouse. We prepared the soil with natural fertilizers, as well as compost soil, and reaped some small rewards in a bountiful cucumber crop—our first success! Though the strawberry plants performed poorly, some transplanted mint took hold and spread rapidly.

Then, two years ago, a squash plant appeared in our third compost pit and yielded a single butternut squash. Out of the same compost pit grew a large cucumber plant that we had to stake up as it got longer and thicker. We harvested over 2 dozen cucumbers from that one plant that summer!

This year we have a total of 6 compost pits, half of them retired for some time, but the other three we had barely finished stirring in veggie scraps when they were suddenly alive with more squash plants! Compost Pits 1, 2, and 3 were growing as well and soon bright yellow squash flowers appeared. We even carried some of the older compost soil (black gold, for sure!) to the other side of the yard, placed it inside old tires, and planted some sprouting onions. Soon the scallions were sharing the space in the tire with squash plants!

So here in the autumn season, our harvest for the year has been amazing indeed! The count?

16 butternut squashes

3 pumpkins

2 peaches

I think the ‘awesomest’ of all these was the peaches. Our first compost pit had its beginning around six years ago; we dismantled the wood frame we had around it a few years later when we dug new compost pits. Even in the heavy shade from overhanging trees, from this fertile soil a fruit tree grew and produced a pair of small peaches. We had all but forgotten our first compost pit so it was almost by accident we found this peach tree. And it was definitely a surprise!

Just in case you were wondering, I cooked up all the squash and made our recipe of Butternut Squash Soup—enough to feed a large family. Every squash I used in making soup (the numerous times that I have) sent peels and seeds to the compost. This grew more squash and I made more soup…and the cycle continues onward.

The future holds bright returns as we revitalize our gardening plots. The squash plants still hold a few more surprises as the large leaves hide the tiny green butternuts yet to ripen. The fresh basil plants we’ve purchased (and eaten from) are now planted nearby and continue to put out more of their delicious leaves. A distance away, the mint dominates the hillside, soft young leaves still growing on the tall plants.

For some, these results may seem small, but for us…all of this is a true blessing.

The pic posted above reveals some of our harvest.The quarter on the right side is a reference to help determine size.

PS. Rhetorical question: “Is compost worth it?”

If you liked this post and this true story, please vote and leave a comment!


*Image courtesy Flickr creative commons.

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  1. Carolyn
    Vote #2! Vegan Dozen thanks for sharing! I have written several articles about composting myself.
    1. VeganDozen
      Thanks for the vote! Composting is rewarding thing to do!
  2. Veganara
    Voted. I really enjoyed reading this, even though I don't like gardening! Despite that, I am thinking of growing some of my own veg, as home-grown stuff is best, isn't it? What do you make your compost out of usually? You might be interested in my latest recipe for Creamy Asparagus Risotto, and if you like it, please vote!
    1. VeganDozen
      For our compost, we dig square pits in select places in our yard and continually stir in the organic material. We use any veggie or fruit scraps leftover from food prep to make our compost. That's peels, cores, squash seeds, etc...Plus, leaves and grass clippings are occasionally mixed into the dirt in the compost pit. It's really quite simple!
  3. Veganara
    PS Just to remind you, I am still waiting for that lentil patties recipe!!!
  4. BuddhasDelight
    compost rocks and this is inspiring! i love nature and how, if we just work with her instead of against her (and ourselves!) there is so much benefit! i think compost is always worth it! I live in a tiny apartment but we have developed a compost plan that transfers out to our tiny patio garden! :) thanks for posting. voted! please check out my mood-enhancing pear nectar and cool coconut soup recipes and vote if you like them. cheers and keep posting. i am learning a lot today from the flaming vegan community, it's great!
    1. VeganDozen
      Thanks for the vote!! It's certainly inspiring to have people see how simple composting really is!
  5. SnakeWitch
    This is an amazing article. You say that your success may seem small to some of us - but small successes are still successes. Rome wasn't built in a day! Good things take time, which means your garden will be fabulous! When you have the chance, my new piece is called Soy Now Good for Women With Breast Cancer. Read up on it and let me know if you like it!
    1. VeganDozen
      Thanks a lot for the encouragement!!
  6. The Flaming Vegan Crew
    The Flaming Vegan Crew
    The Flaming Vegan Crew really...dug...this article!
    1. VeganDozen
      Wow! That's really awesome--and greatly appreciated!!
  7. Anita Vegana
    This is a nice story. I am happy you have good growth in your garden. I voted. Please come read my article, What is a Superfood?, and vote if you enjoyed reading it. Thank you.
    1. VeganDozen
      Thanks! I will definitely check out your article!
  8. Akanksha
    I have a very little knowledge about composting and would like to know more about it. Thanks for this post Vegan Dozen!
  9. Fearless Vegan
    Just a qs to Vegan Dozen & Carolyn-are you talking of vermi compost? We have vermi compost bins in our shelter do you feel about thermal compost as a substitute?I am oscillating between the two in an attempt to veganize our farming practices...I am new to this first article..."Extraordinary Deed or Every Ordinary Man's Moral Obligation" under the animal rights category...please read...your comments would be valuable & if you like vote for this article..
  10. Veggie
    I voted and love your post! I am a gardener and I am still learning what my garden will produce. I always seem to have extra plants pop up in a row of corn, or beans, I call them my "bonus" plants! Mostly cucumbers, or tomatoes, but I am definitely going to try a squash like you have I just love squash of any kind! If you like ,stop over and check out my post on pumpkin pie, thumbprint cookies, and my start from vegetarian to vegan and vote! Thanks!
    1. VeganDozen
      Thanks for the vote! "Bonus" plants are great!!


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