By Feliciano Robles Blanco
Composting is a word of English origin that we understand as the action of creating and maintaining certain conditions of temperature, humidity and oxygenation so that millions of microorganisms transform organic matter into natural compost, mulch or COMPOST.
The process can be carried out by all the people who live in a house that have a small garden with a simple compost bin. This 100 x 100 recycled plastic container does not consume energy, does not have any mechanism and does not require special maintenance. In other words: it works by itself. In it, we can deposit up to 40% of the garbage that we generate at home; nature transforms it to us by returning it as a product with which to feed our plants. This is true recycling: obtaining a rich and usable material by eliminating waste at source.
With all this, we avoid buying garbage bags and harmful chemical products, while reducing the waste that is collected, transported and treated, avoiding the damages that its incineration supposes for the air and land environment. That is, the organic matter that we discard in our lives, when it is thrown into the environment causes considerable damage, but if it is treated properly it produces enormous benefits.
Nature works well
If we do not alter natural cycles and we are respectful of the environment, nature provides us with an infinite lesson in its wise activity. A perpetual cycle of work carried out over the course of millions of years in his immense laboratory is a more than evident, dazzling proof of his creative unfolding, from which our own existence as a species does not escape. Nature designs itself, organizes itself, and regulates itself; we just have to let her act.
Human history can be told as man's relationship with his environment, the permanent attempt to submit it to his interests, to dominate it. But the time has come in this history to stop abuses, excesses, unjustified aggressions and the unawareness of our actions. It must be agreed with nature, respect it and pamper it so that we and our children can live in a healthy environment and not endanger its balance and ours, which is the same.
A comfortable, cheap, easy and productive example to relate to the environment, we have in composting: nature works for our benefit.
The magic of transformation
If the proper conditions are maintained in our compost bin for bacteria and other organisms to do their magnificent work, a biological process develops that transmutes the original discarded matter into compost or humus. All the waste of our plant foods, the remains of our plants and the cut grass, when deposited in the compost bin, initiate a mutation of their primary form and little by little they acquire the spongy texture and color of their new existential body: compost, a dark matter, with a pleasant smell of forest mulch, produced inside that mini-factory that we have installed in a corner of the garden, where millions of beings in a frenzied activity are acting to give us, gratefully, the fruit of their work .
We know that organic material, a genuine form of solar energy, together with air, water and minerals, is one of the most important factors of soil fertility and now we obtain that substance whenever we need it, guaranteeing with our reserves that plants and grass do not lack moisture or rich nutrients and ensuring a cleaner, healthier, cost-free and sustainable social environment.
Chemistry and biology
What is obtained by our home industry is a natural source of nitrogen, phosphorus and sulfur, and contains a large load of enzymes and bacteria that allows its nutrients to be immediately assimilated by the roots of grass, plants and trees. In addition, they stay longer in the soil even if it is watered.
The enrichment of our soil with compost gives us these other advantages:
- Accelerates the germination of seeds and the development of seedlings.
- Enhances the healthy appearance of plants, trees and shrubs.
- Prevents diseases in transplants and reduces the effect of wounds or sudden changes in temperature and humidity.
- It favors the formation of small fungi that act on the roots in symbiosis with the plants.
- It is an antibiotic, it increases the resistance of plants to pests and pathogens.
- Its neutral PH makes it ideal to be used on delicate plants.
- Provides and contributes to the maintenance and development of the micro flora and micro fauna of the soil.
- Facilitates the absorption of nutritional elements by the plant.
- It transmits hormones, vitamins, proteins and other humifying fractions directly from the ground to the plant.
- Provides nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, sulfur, boron and releases them gradually, and intervenes in the physical fertility of the soil because it increases the active surface and prevents its wear.
- Improves the characteristics of the soil, loosening clays and adding sand.
- Neutralizes contaminating presences (herbicides, etc.).
- Improves the chemical characteristics of the soil, its quality and the biological properties of its production.
- Increases resistance to frost and water retention.
This is how life works. Does some cutting edge technology give more for a little care?
By Feliciano Robles Blanco.
Professor of Technology.
Reviewed by Tania Fernandez P. for