Humus & Compost
Composting is God’s way of returning and renewing all the spent organic materials back into the soil; the “circle of life” as some say. The first stage is a thermophilic stage where heat creating bacteria generate sufficient heat to do away with the pathogenic micro-organisms. These thermophilic micro-organisms, working at 60 degrees plus centigrade, also break down the cellulose found in plant leaves, the lignins in wood fibres, any chemical compounds and heavy metals. On the farm we use a compost heap to generate hot water for household use. We get up to 8 months free hot water from one heap. If the compost process is successful the final product is pH7, pathogen free and great as a food for soil.
The second phase is the change from compost to humus. Humus is the absolute best plant food and soil stabiliser. It puts stamina in your soil. This change is performed by the macro organisms, earthworms, wood lice, rhino beetles, centipedes, slugs, snails, millipedes, etc. As the compost passes through their bodies it goes through changes that give it these properties.
Humus rich soil can carry up to 70 times the nutrients that can be carried in sand, it retains water, supports organic life helping set-up the symbiotic relationships between soil, micro life and the roots of the plants.