Do you know how long it took me to get this beautiful compost?
Do you know why that’s a ridiculously long time?
Because compost isn’t that hard.
It’s 2 parts “greens” and 1 part “browns” — nitrogen rich material like grass clipping and carbon rich material like fallen leaves. You pile it up. You keep it moist. You keep it aerated by turning it. You make a healthy little environment for all the good bacteria to grow and thrive.
Do you know why it took me this long to get beautiful compost?
Because, ironically, compost — like homesteading — is about the long game. It’s about creating something that cannot be created overnight. It’s about seeing the steps to get there and taking them, day by day. It’s about patience, persistence and paying attention to details.
Compost — like homesteading — requires a specific mind set. One that is very different from the immediacy and instant gratification of modern American life.
But that’s not the mind set I started with.
It only takes a few months to get some nice compost going. But a few months is not instant gratification. The “now” mentality caused distraction; when I didn’t get results “right out of the box,” I stopped paying attention. “Patience” and “persistence” aren’t the products of a brain set to “immediacy.”
It didn’t actually take the compost two years to get beautiful. It took me two years to get the right frame of mind.
I guess I really was dumber than dirt.
No offense to the dirt.
Cornell Waste Management Institute (2005). Home Composting. Retrieved from