- The pointed leaf tips were thought to represent the Holy Lance.
- The tendrils that the plant climbs with were thought to represent the whips used in the flagellation of Christ.
- The ten petals and sepals represented the ten faithful apostles, excluding St. peter the denier and Judas Iscariot the betrayer.
- The chalice shaped ovary with its receptacles represented a hammer or perhaps the Holy Grail itself.
- The 3 stigmas represented the three nails, while the 5 anthers below them the 5 wounds, for note four by nail one by lance.
- The blue and white colors of the flower in radiating bands represented Heaven and Purity or a halo.
- The flowers filaments represent the crown of thorns.
The finished compost product due to the sifting is more regular, the particles are even and, as a bonus it blends everything in the compost evenly so there are no areas of clay, lumps or other irregularities. This blending also serves to ensure that the final product has less variation in fertility and quality. As the picture below attests, in short what comes out of that sifting process is black gold.
The final stop in the process that produces 'Carolina Gold' is the measuring, as noted before the sifted compost is stored in Rubbermaid storage totes of the 18 gallon size. For sale the compost is packed in gallon/4.5 pound bags like the one sitting on the lid, and is distributed to BL2 customers upon request by either tote or by bag. About 30% of all compost produced is used in the test gardens. It is a little known fact that the reinforced mound bed whose center mound is raised some two feet is centered over a pile of Carolina gold a foot thick the lower portions of the bed are over 4" thick layers.
In short, the way we produce compost at BL2 is one of many ways to make compost. In my decade of time as a landscaping professional, I have seen dozens of types of composters and several times as many methods, styles and concepts. The fact is not a single one is wrong, they are all different and they all have advantages and disadvantages. My way is angled to someone who has the tools but not the time to fuss over a compost pile but also has no shortage of good materials to feed said pile and ample amounts of pine straw. I should note for all of you that there are several major forms of compost pile as noted below.
As a final note for soil conservation and composting remember this, every time I see the Department of Agriculture at an public event they have these neat little pins that say "No Farm, No Food." and I agree but when it comes to preserving the soil I would insist they should say "No Soil, No Farm, No Good!".
Thank you again for tuning into a somewhat long post on composting, I hope you enjoyed the look at composting and the way we make compost at BL2. Next weeks article will be about fertilizer alternatives.