Compost and Drought

Compost and Drought

This last week our compost arrived: all 60 tons of it for our 6 1/2 acres of grapes. We had it dumped at the end of the grape rows, and then tucked four sets of compost preps into it to help the soil integrate its forces. The compost itself smells a little like tobacco. Over the next week we will spread the compost between the rows and slowly turn it in.

Compost piles

Compost piles

Increasing the organic material in the soil by only 5% quadruples the amount of water that the soil can hold. There could not be a better safeguard during this time of severe drought in California. The dark gifts of the drought continue: the growing awareness of the importance of watersheds and maintaining their health, the sensitivity to the land and the realization that we are growing soil as much are we are growing crops, and the awareness that what we do affects everyone. Oh yes… and the lesson that water is not limitless.

Compost Spread between rows.

Compost Spread between rows.

But meanwhile we enjoy the rain we are beginning to get as we spread compost, till it in a little before spraying again with our barrel compost.   The earth grounds us, brings us into the present. Another gift.