Although the term black gold may cause many to think of oil or perhaps The Ballad of Jed Clampett, in gardening it means only one thing, compost. As I removed the cover of my compost container today to add more organic material to the mix, I saw something I had never seen before. White wisps resembling steam rising from the surface of the contents within. It was an indication that the composting process was proceeding as it should and that the past few days of record setting warmth that we have experienced were coming to an end. For only in cooler temperatures could I see this phenomena. And only when the surface of the composting materials had not yet been frozen over by temps below the freezing point of water. All is well. Spring is only about four weeks away, at least as far as the calender is concerned. That's plenty of time to produce more black gold for the garden.
Saturday, February 18, 2017
Normally at this time of year, the only things I'd be turning with any regularity would be a shovel full of snow and a key in an ignition. However, this year is different. How different? Consider this, yesterday's high in the mid 60s broke a record that had existed since the 1880s. And today, another record was broken when we hit 70. This is definitely not the norm for February here in NWI. As a result, I found myself giving the compost pile a few good turns. Something that would usually have been impossible in late February since most of it would have been a block of ice.
I don't know what Mother Nature has in store for us. But I'm hoping that March won't come in like the lion in winter. Sure, we're bound to get some snow between now and the first day of spring. We need some just to get back to average. Let's hope it won't all come in one day or even one weekend.