I always think it is just so cool to watch a compost bin in action. When we first built this bin it was full to overflowing with popcorn stalks and weeds. I watered it almost daily to lend an assist to the decomposition process, and in the past couple weeks nature has also helped out. Regardless of the water, though, the height of the bin has dropped considerably. I shouldn't be surprised. After all, this is what is meant to happen; however, it still amazes me each time. (An old high school friend recently remarked on what an exciting life I lead, and I think I'm just giving him more evidence of that with this post!)
Even as I write this, the level has dropped again. After harvesting the squash and tossing in the vine remains, the top was taller than the cement wall behind. Yesterday when I dropped off our latest bucket of coffee grounds, nashi bits, eggshells, and salad skeletons it was lower still. (The aforementioned popcorn stalks are visible at the bottom of the bin in the photo above.) I can just imagine all the little nematodes, microbes, and other critters fattening up and pooping out the stuff my garden so ardently desires. It makes me pathetically happy.
The same holds true for the lasagna bed, too. The bed seems to be coalescing now into an organic mass, and the thick layer of newspaper below seems to be doing its job of holding down the weeds. I do want to bring in a couple more bags of composted manure to top it off some, and help hold the grass in place as winter approaches. I don't want to lose any of those precious greens bits, although I do worry a bit about too much nitrogen. My aphid experiences this summer make me a bit more cautious than before. Then the decision about what to plant comes - another favorite!