P90714We don’t put much effort into our compost piles. In the first pile, we dump horse manure, green waste from two cafeteria type kitchens, and a bit of the finer textured green waste from the landscapes. It eventually gets turned over into the second pile. By the time the second pile gets turned over into the third pile, it is almost ready for use. The third pile really does not last long. Neighbors take it as fast as we can.
We turn the piles when it is convenient for us and the tractor. There is no schedule. We incorporate the material as it becomes available. There is no recipe. Somehow, we get remarkably good compost from the process.
Besides the usual weeds that grow around the compost piles, there are all sort of vegetable plants that grow in the compost, from vegetable scraps and seed that were in the green waste from the kitchens. There are onions, potatoes, carrot tops and celery bottoms. For a while, there was even a pineapple top. Melons, cucumbers, peppers and squash sometimes grow from seed. Tomatoes are the most common vegetable plants out there.
All this random mix of vegetable plants started growing like weeds after all the rain last winter, but then slowed down after the rain stopped. That is why the tomatoes have not been ripening for long. Of course, we get no tomatoes. The raccoons an whatever other wildlife wants them tends to get them first. I am not so sure that I want tomatoes that seem to grow directly from horse manure anyway.
They sure look impressive though. It would be nice if tomato plants that were intentionally planted into vegetable gardens looked this good. There are actually a few just like this one scattered about where the compost gets turned. They sprawl over the ground, but are able to stand up enough to hold their developing fruit above the compost.

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12 thoughts on “Good Weeds

  1. Ha! I wouldn’t have guess that was a tomato! Weeds are good here. They make great fodder for the chickens and of course all weeds have a purpose in nature. I’ve learned to appreciate them… except for the burr types!

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    1. Most of our worst weeds are not native. Right nearby where these tomatoes are growing, there are black acacias, English ivy, golden bamboo, and a bit of pampas grass. The ecosystem here, outside of the redwood forests, is adapted to burning every so often. Much of the exotic vegetation causes fires to burn hotter, and incinerate the seeds that normally survive fire.

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    1. Well, this one ws more about how we neglect our compost piles than about composting. I am pleased that the piles somehow do so well, but embarrassed that the technique is not more refined.

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  2. Your composting method sound just like ours except for the manure part. We do three boxes, don’t pay any attention to time or temperature. We just turn when the box for the new material starts to get too full. We even put in shells from seafood and bones after I’ve made broth. Great stuff!

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