A Slice of Farm Life: Mount Compost

By Benjamin Hanon, KCC Urban Farm student aide10559659_777328102289207_4604875111502288765_n


Today’s story is about turning our compost pile, with the help of the nice folks over at the Liberty Partnerships Program at Kingsborough.

In the deepest depths of the kingdom of Kingsborough’s Urban Farm, towards the T1 building and behind the student beds lies the mysterious Mount Compost. Rumor has it that this mountain is made of garden waste and the bodies of fruits and vegetables that never get eaten. They say that mysterious figures wearing sun hats and farm clothes add to the mountain every week. It is believed that otherworldly forces transform this plant matter into soil. I know the truth. Mount Compost is made of much more than just the bodies of our fallen plant brethren. Mount Compost is composed of a network of of Bacteria, Fungi, and Protists that digest plant matter and convert it into the rich soil that we use on the farm.

Mount compost could not exist alone. The microorganisms within it, while valiant, could not break down the food scraps and garden waste on their own fast enough to for the soil they produce to be ready on time. Mount compost must be dug up and turned every week to ensure the microorganisms can do their job. That’s why I’m here. Under the rule of Queen Silvia, I was in charge of the task force on compost. While the task has since been expanded to be the duty of all of the farm crew, Monarch Cris had put me in charge of our duties at mount compost on this day. This was because I was about to cross paths with a group of knights I had seen in the recent past once again.

These knights came from a program called the Liberty Partnership Program. I was recently in their ranks as an Intern, and battled the forces of evil alongside the administrative staff and the high school students the program served. The best and bravest of their community service volunteers were in attendance that day, ready to see our beautiful kingdom and to help us conquer Mount Compost once again to ensure our kingdom had super nutritious soil for the future.

After a brief tour of the Urban Farm, we began our quest. Armed with shovels, pitchforks and a large amount of garden waste, we set off to surmount Mount Compost. Pitchforks dug into the decomposing plant matter and tossed it into a pile a few feet to the side. As they dug, we added garden waste to the mountain. A strong scent could be smelled coming from the pile. It smelled strongly of the sacrifices of the organic matter that was turning into soil for other plants to thrive in. It also smelled slightly of manure. The wind howled, seemingly to the tune of Elton John’s “Circle of Life,” a fitting song for the occasion.

The pile was finished relatively quickly, thanks to the brave knights who came to help us that day. A round of applause was had, and then our heroes went on to their next quest: eating the pizza that was brought for them.