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Compost and the report

I don't really appreciate my home political economic system or empire but I do appreciate the vast open spaces of the USA, the areas I drove through on my trip across the country, Idaho, Montana and the Dakotas. While Filipinos seem to love a crowd, I sometimes yearn for solitude.

Compost and the Cosmos

My role here at the eco farm is that of composting facilitator as I approach the beginning of my 66th year on Earth. There are few things that one can be certain of, but death, decomposition and entropy are three. Philosophically, it is as close as I come to immortality or resurrection. “Earth to earth, dust to dust” is our farewell to the departed so why do we struggle so to prevent decomposition? Is it so frightening to contemplate the reuse of our components by God or Nature? In one account of the life of the Dalai Lama, his father’s body was taken apart and fed to the condors in the Himalaya. Is this not better than being filled with formaldehyde and locked in a dark box? I will consider myself the deacon of decomposition and declare that entropy is irrevocable!

The cosmos is in a constant balance of entropy or decomposition and enthalpy or composition. This is reflected in the compost pile, where complex structures such as flowers are decomposed into basic elements, soil and nutrients, for the composition of new plants that will, in their own time, produce flowers and fruits. The compost pile is the perfect microcosm of the balance of the cosmos. If I can understand and facilitate the cycles of nature there, I can make peace with my own recycling in just a few years, knowing from experience that God will use all my components in new beings and creations. What could be better than to be resurrected as a flower or fruit?

The number 66 has many associations. One is the famous US Route 66, a highway that I grew up on in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It spawned a television series that may have contributed to my own wandering ways. I think a series of 6s has a religious significance as well, perhaps a negative one. It is two thirds of a century, or as close as you can get and certainly more than two thirds of what any human can hope for in life span.

Report to SBBFI for May 28th

Compost still priority one for me!

All compost has been removed from the well sump basin now into two piles nearby in preparation for possible re drilling. The composting is coming along nicely, cogon grass decomposes very slowly once it has dried. It will be important to have the crew stack and chop it while still green if we want to compost it. Coffee grinds from Starbucks is the newest aid to the compost program. If you get near a Starbucks ask for grounds for your garden, the worms will be stimulated and work harder.

Bamboo training and our bamboo: The first two clumps of buho bamboo that I had anticipated for demonstration at the class have been damaged by our nurseryman’s crew and now only one clump that is easily accessible is left. I fear this one too will be damaged by them as they will be working close to it. There is plenty of buho down in the spring ravine but I don’t think we can take a class down there. If the last clump of accessible bamboo is damaged, I will have to cancel plans to have a class as that was one of the requisites. There are two clumps of thorny bamboo clearly on our property and accessible but one is too young and the older one has also been damaged beyond usefulness.

Reforestation using endemics, natives and indigenous trees: Haribon and the Tanay Municipal agriculture department would welcome our visit to the site at Cuyambay near Tanay. We should call them first. They also have an excellent vermi composting program that we should see. Some of the kakawate cuttings are now leafing out, slowly but surely.

Other: The test of industrial/commercial agriculture vs organic/permaculture will depend on allocation of land, funds for animal and human labor and access to data for accounting. The success of the German economy is partly due to good, real accounting. The term is richtig, I think. Accounting in the USA has been corrupted by tax write offs and subsidies. Philippine accounting is corrupted another way. As Bishop Francisco Claver observed, family is both a curse and a blessing as it is often the cause of corruption. Produce and resources are often channeled to friends and family in the Philippines and not included in an honest accounting. All should be "on the books", even if it is listed as a donation to a worthy cause or individual. Otherwise we do not get real accounting that allows us to compare our produce and resources.

Your faithful naturalist, Rowland Lane Anderson

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