Hardcore Composting, Organic Growing and Sharing at Esalan Gardens (Video)

esalen organic gardens composting photo

Image credit: Benjamin Fahrer

From a sneak peak at industrial-scale composting to my musings on composting as animal husbandry, I have been known to get more than a little excited about both the theory and practice of recycling our organic waste. But the video below from Esalan Gardens, featuring footage of diggers turning huge piles of steaming compost really got me going. (It kind of reminded me of the dirty treehugger equivalent of watching the smoke rise up from a drag racer's rear wheels on the starting grid...) Oh - the video also has some pretty useful footage on how to grow veggies too.Shot at the Esalen Institute retreat and education center in Big Sur, California, the video chronicles the activities in the institute's vegetable garden. As the captions explain, the garden is responsible for growing over $83,000 worth of wholesale produce, over 7300lbs of lettuce and salad greens, 2,200lbs of cabbage and broccoli, and almost 5 tons of kale, all with only 3 full time staff. (Admittedly the garden does make use of volunteers, workshops and apprentices—reinforcing the notion that volunteers may currently be the cheap oil of permaculture.)

Whichever way you slice it, these folks are growing an awful lot of food and feeding an awful lot of mouths with organic, low impact techniques. They're recycling 100% of the organic waste from their kitchens in those big steaming piles I talked about. And they are educating a new wave of organic gardeners in the process.

(Found via the ever excellent Permaculture.tv. With thanks.)

More on Composting, Soil Life and Organic Gardening
Volunteerism: The Cheap Oil of Permaculture?
Composting as Animal Husbandry
40 Tons of Life in One Acre of Soil (Video)

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