Courtesy January 2011  URBAN FARM Magazine “One Thing”

“How, after planting a garden, can you keep the harvest growing year after year? The path to fruitfulness is to invest in your most valuable resource the soil and not treat it like dirt! The most basic step you can take now to boost productivity is to put back into the soil what has been taken out of it. Because the earth needs to be kept alive, it must be fed regularly with organic waste matter to renew the vitality of the soil. Thus, in order to maintain a garden’s fertility, it is necessary today, tomorrow and always to compost.”

– Jules Dervaes


  1. Tamlynn says:

    Just yesterday I was so excited to see that a couple of my fruit trees are big enough to drop a significant amount of leaves in the winter! I was so excited to rake all that leafy goodness into my compost pile.

  2. Deanna says:

    Composting is so simple as well. It is easy to feed your soil…

  3. The Mom says:

    Compost is my friend1 I have a couple piles going right now. This fall my garden beds were all covered with cow manure and chopped leaves from a neighbors yard. They’re now happily sleeping under their think blanket.

  4. Marney says:

    Learning the Berkely Method of 18 day hot compost is a remarkable way to go. Size does matter in this process, so finding a space, sources or storage of ingredients, and committing the time is important but with about 8 to 10 hours of work you could potentially have all the compost you need for an entire year from a 1 to 2 cubic meter pile. The bonus is if done correctly you can process nearly all house hold carbon and kitchen waste, including meat and bone scraps if your household is omnivorous, leaving nearly nothing for the garbage and just recycling to carry away. After trying other methods we are finding this is the healthiest way. Makes for good exercise too!

  5. Vegetable Garden Cook says:

    Congrats! Looks like it’ll be potent.

  6. Stacy says:

    I sent 4 hours this morning moving “fall” from the driveway/back porch into the back yard compost pile. I’m only half done (there was some much overdue excavation of malingering decaying “stuff” accumulated for past projects…). If my back doesn’t stage a revolt overnight, I hope to finish tomorrow.

  7. Ginger says:

    I’ve been intrigued even more by this idea, since taking classes from John Jeavons. I wish you all would teach classes like he does. I know you use some of his methods but have made it work in a tiny area. It might be a great way for you all to supplement your income during the slower growing times of year and give more people a hands-on dose of reality. Anyway….the quote and pic are wonderful.

  8. sarah says:

    with a family of 6 our compost got a lot of kitchen scraps until we got chickens! now there is an extra step in our food’s circle back to the earth.

  9. Sharon says:

    My compost pile is my gardens best friend. I live on two acres of hill. I have this year finally gotten more planting beds terraced and feel good about the accomplishments! The chickens have the yard around the fruit trees and their old hay, the leaves from the yard and even the leaves and muck from the bottom of the pool get put in there along with kitchen scraps. Last spring Hubby added 3 baby mallards to our funny farm and they are the only ones that don’t try to leave. Not sure we are getting the pool back! However the pea soup pool-pond that it is waters the garden. Looks like we might be expecting some hatching ducks before long! When the small plants get bigger I will allow the chickens in to take care of insects. My gym is my yard, and my tanning bed has fragrant flowers and yummy veggies and singing birds. Every doctor tells us to eat right and exercise. Any good gardener knows that just comes naturally when you a living WITH the earth and not just ON her. Thank you for your insight and inspiration!

  10. Debra Bosio Riley says:

    I would grow wheat. We already grow most of our feed for our dairy goats, but I would love to grow wheat. The kind I have in mind is a non GMO ancient variety of winter wheat call Kamut. I think that’s how it’s spelled? If I had wheat, I know that this would go a long way in furthering our self reliance here on our farmstead in southern Michigan.

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