woensdag 3 februari 2021

How it started with composting. in the distant past.

 How it started with composting, in the distant past.

We came to live on a farm, by accident, or rather, luckily. We were, Stella and I, just married, the first baby on the way, and the farm was not only a kind of escape, but also an adventure, on the way to a future, but we didn't know that yet. I had found work as a lifeguard in a nearby village, so there was also an income, and besides the fact that we had to get used to the farm life, we also had to furnish the house to our taste, but also find a way in the problems that a house, which is not inhabited for a long time is, with all the inconveniences that this causes. There was no gas connection, which came later (and that in Groningen) and a pump for water. (Later we also got water mains). So it was a bit of a struggle, because we were used to differently, maybe it would now be called off-grid living, but we felt happy, and so did our children. Later we started gardening and keeping goats and cows, but in retrospect we should have left it at gardening. With gardening came composting. Reading books in the evening, gardening and renovating during the day. Rudolf Steiner came along through the books, and also 'gardening without poison' and other such books. But because Stella, my wife, and I had been involved a lot with art and music, we came up with the idea of ​​setting up a foundation. Foundation for the integration of art, craft, agriculture and society. A wonderful goal, but that was it for a long time. From the farm we came to live in a village, and I had become unemployed. I ended up on welfare, and was therefore unemployed. I then got the idea for an unemployment project, to help people find work, because there was not much work in Groningen at the time. Others were also interested, we got into the paper and there was movement. I had also worked out a plan, calculated the costs and benefits, but there was an amount of organic matter short in the whole, because the revenues went to the customers, and that had to be supplemented. The project was based on organic management, and it would work on the basis of workers' self-government, rather progressive at the time. So I came up short in the calculation of an amount of organic matter, so we went to Provincial Water Management to see if we could get ditch cuttings from that. But they made a different proposal, here you have 2 ha of land and you can start composting. The foundation also had a turnover, participants had found work, and that's how the compost company came into the picture. We had to find money to do it from scratch. It took a few years for that to come about, but it worked, and it involved a lot of money. There were also a number of major shareholders with their own backgrounds. But the company, as B.V. has come. In addition to provincial water management, Staatsbosbeheer was also a good customer of ours. Birdland was a natural crop and was easy to compost, in addition to ditch waste and reed. But the market was not yet ready for it. The Netherlands ran on peat potting soil, and we did not interfere. Ultimately, the VAM bought our company, and the company 'Tellus Natuurcompost' was sold to them. I got sick then, Stella did not want to work for them, and then we left for our house to start living 'normal' again. I also turned 65 and retired, and being sick, Stella became my caregiver. But then Portugal came into view, and we went there, and I am still there. This is where the idea came up again, to start composting. But because the circumstances here are completely different than in the Netherlands, we also had to find a different way of composting here. The air dryness is very strong here, and the compost threatens to dry out at start-up. So covering is very important. The soil is good, is in fact mineral-rich soil, only needs organic matter to feed the bacteria, to serve the plant. Stella died, even though of cancer, who not? And I try to keep up with the blog, the garden, the greenhouse and composting for a while. The environment is peaceful, and not many people live here, and now, with the corona it is so safe. This in short the story of how composting started. Just sighs out of adventure, the challenge of living outside, being active in nature (for which there is still), and growing your own vegetables, and I am still quite successful :) Hendrik.

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