Huge composite site behind pickup truck

Good dirt is hard to find.

Last year I filled four raised beds one shovelful at a time with dirt from our recently plowed field. It was possibly the most backbreaking work I’ve encountered (so far). This year I’m building four more raised beds that also need to be filled. And even though we have access to a front-loading tractor, my field is planted so I don’t have a good source of free dirt anymore. I was looking into having a truckload of dirt delivered when I found out about a community compost site nearby. I decided to check it out.

I wasn’t expecting much. I’ve seen community sites before. If you’re lucky and its not too late in the season you might get a few loads of dirt you can use. So I just about fell out of my seat when I arrived and saw the sheer size of this pile. It was at least 12 feet tall and stretched for 50 yards. All free for the taking!

Pickup truck backed up to compost pile

The operation is something to behold. Residents are stopping by continuously unloading yard waste at one end of the site. There is row upon row of decomposing matter. The last of which is fully composted and ready for harvest.

Piles of debris turning into compost

This is the good stuff too. Rich, loamy compost. Black gold. I set to work with my pitchfork and shovel and loaded my truck bed to capacity. Back home, little helpers were eager to help daddy unload into the garden.

Girl helping daddy unload the compost

Boy helping shovel out compost