GREAT MUSHROOM COMPOST - Think Globally, Act Locally (MB) (South Bay - Monterey, S Cruz -Pleasanton)
- FUN exercise for you.
- Healthy, inexpensive, soul-satisfying, great tasting food for you (I could expound on this endlessly).
- Satisfaction in helping to stem the loss of our top soil. Possibly a greater crisis than global warming; no top soil, no food, end of story. (Ditto on the expounding.)
- Joy in sharing your bountiful harvest with neighbors and food banks.
- Plant native plants and feel the wonder of the birds, bees and butterflies that flock to the ecological oasis you have created in the unnatural desert of non-native plants that our community landscapes have become. (Ditto again on the expounding).
- Introduction to an endlessly branching subject that will never cease to constantly stir your curiosity (cooking, preserving WITHOUT preservatives, cultivating, propagating, seed saving, growing methods, soils, the endless varietals, foraging, sustainability, food politics (?) - and sooo much more!).
- Tasting first hand what properly grown produce should taste like. (Be careful, your body may never again allow you to buy a tomato from the supermarket, or allow you step foot in a fast food joint again. You will eat tomatoes like apples - unappealing at best with Safeway produce!).
- Glory in the satisfaction of the harvest. The chance to revel in the overabundance of it.
- Becoming involved with a community of gardeners, who on the whole are some of the most sharing, giving and helpful people in any community.
- And once again - so much more, but you get the idea!
The single best thing you can do for your garden is to loosen the soil so the roots can easily penetrate it. Our native clay dirt, however, will quickly re-compact making for difficult root penetration as well as making digging for each new season and crop an onerous chore. Adding a good quality compost will help keep the clay from re-compacting (don't walk on the newly loosened soil either!) and it will provide the much-needed air pockets for plants' roots. Even if you are using raised bed gardens, loosening the soil underneath the beds will make your deep-rooted plants (i.e. tomatoes) very happy.
Mushroom compost is possibly the best amendment you can add to your soil. "Spent" mushroom compost, in the parlance of the mushroom farming community, is a carefully controlled mix of horse manure, coffee grounds, peat moss, hay and other "chemical-free" ingredients. (It is only "spent" as far as the mushrooms are concerned, and even then, "spent" is not an accurate term.) Sterilized prior to use as the growing medium for a variety of mushroom types, it is pasteurized with steam and then used to grow mushrooms. After a few short weeks, the compost is "spent" as far as the mushrooms are concerned. The mushroom growing medium is then pasteurized again prior to being put out into the fields to compost. It is then composted for as much as fourteen months, being actively turned, moistened and aerated the whole time. Amend your soil with this compost and you can sit back and watch your garden explode in color and taste. Mushroom Compost instantly improves the drainage and texture of your soil. Clay soil is converted to rich, loamy, easily worked soil. Weed free. Can be tilled in, used as a top dressing, or as a mulch. Make your own potting soil with this, your clay dirt, and vermiculite or sand. Not just great as an amendment, but also a good source of nutrients for your plants (soil analysis available, just ask).
Best of all - mushroom compost is inexpensive. Compost by the bag, typically found at big-box stores, is the most expensive form. Most bags average 1.5 cubic feet of material per bag. There are 27 cubic feet in a yard. It takes 18 of those bags to make one yard. At about 4.00 per bag, that is 72.00 for one yard, plus you have to schlep it yourself which costs you gas and vehicle expenses as well as a lot of time. In the end, you get a low quality, inconsistent compost of unknown mix and origin and dubious overall benefit as well as a pile of empty plastic bags.
Mixed into your soil at a rate of about 1/3 compost to 2/3 soil, Mushroom Compost goes a long way and persists in your soil for a long time due to its high humus content. It does not quickly disappear from the soil as do most other forms of compost. It will continue to slowly decompose all the while continuing to feed your plants (although supplemental fertilizers, preferably organic may still be needed - try compost tea!). Mushroom compost is most appreciated when it is time to turn over the soil again. Suddenly digging is easy, almost fun, even therapeutic. Your shovel blade or spade will sink right in. It will feel great to put your hands into warm, soft soil.
One yard is enough to till into an area roughly 10 feet x 10 feet to a depth of 9 inches.
One yard delivered to your driveway in the Morgan Hill or Gilroy area - 54.00 for one yard delivered. 74.00 for two yards. Add 30.00 per yard for 3 through 7 yards.
San Jose, Hollister, Aromas, Salinas, Watsonville areas- 74.00 for one yard delivered. 99.00 for two yards. Add 30.00 per yard for 3 through 7 yards.
Fremont/Pleasanton, MONTEREY, Los Altos, Santa Cruz Areas - 88.00 for one yard delivered. 108.00 for two yards. Add 30.00 per yard for 3 through 7 yards.
I will gladly deliver a split delivery between close neighbors at no extra charge.
Call for pricing on larger quantities.
E-mail me or call me with questions about compost or gardening in general. If you call and have to leave a message, please, please repeat your name and phone number.
- do NOT contact me with unsolicited services or offers