Saturday, October 15, 2011


Is That You, Che?

Compost is organic matter that has been decomposed and recycled as a fertilizer and soil amendment. Compost is a key ingredient in organic farming. At its most essential, the process of composting requires simply piling up waste outdoors and waiting for the materials to break down at least 6 weeks or more. Modern, methodical composting is a multi-step, closely monitored process with measured inputs of water, air and carbon- and nitrogen-rich materials. The decomposition process is aided by shredding the plant matter, adding water and ensuring proper aeration by regularly turning the mixture. Worms and fungi further break up the material. Aerobic bacteria manage the chemical process by converting the inputs into heat, carbon dioxide and ammonium. The ammonium is further converted by bacteria into plant-nourishing nitrites and nitrates through the process of nitrification.

Compost can be rich in nutrients. It is used in gardens, landscaping, horticulture, and agriculture. The compost itself is beneficial for the land in many ways, including as a soil conditioner, a fertilizer, addition of vital humus or humic acids, and as a natural pesticide for soil. In ecosystems, compost is useful for erosion control, land and stream reclamation, wetland construction, and as landfill cover. Organic ingredients intended for composting can alternatively be used to generate biogas through anaerobic digestion. Anaerobic digestion is fast overtaking composting in some parts of the world including central Europe as a primary means of downcycling waste organic matter.


So we will be of some use then.
When we are done steaming off
we shall be spread as cover
for the roots of new growth.
We will be changed.
We will no longer take,
will instead give life.

January 2, 2010 8:09 AM

The Corpse of Che Guevara Before Composting


  1. Such a beautiful mixture of scientific facts, biology, alongside the more human and emotional impacts of our lives, including that amazing photo of Che alongside your powerful, poignant and hopeful - strangely so - words. Thanks, Christopher.

  2. On further reflection, in this photo, Christopher, to me Che doesn't look dead. He seems to be smiling and at the same time I think, look at him : he was far too young to die, even to become useful compost for the earth and for our imaginations.

  3. I believe, Elisabeth, that the photo of Che was intended to be a proof photo. The two policemen with hands on him one way or the other was to prove that he was really there. There has been some controversy over whether they ever really got Che. The truth is he never showed up again, so it's as if he died. Che said some stuff that made other Latin American governments really nervous.


The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

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