Sample pack of Greenback compost

The Curious Gardener recently bought a lot of Greenback compost, and wrote a post about it over at her blog. She got invited to visit GB’s manufacturing plant, and was kind enough to invite me.

Of course I accepted! (Although my darned flu nearly made me unable to go, grrrr)

I’ve been using Greenback compost for a few months now, ever since my black soil from World Farm ran out, and I remembered I still had a large gurney sack of it from a mass order a fellow gardening friend joined in about two years back. I’d forgotten about it for over a year; reading about some members’ experience with using the compost from the MO also deterred me from using it, especially since she reported that her veggies had all conked. Of course, there were the other members who’d joined the MO, who claimed that their plants were doing well with the compost addition. But, being new to gardening then, I decided not to take the risk, and it laid forgotten till recently.

So far, I’ve had positive experiences using it. The compost is dry and crumbly, and smells really earthy (good!) to my nose. It encourages drainage, which is all the better for me since most of the herbs I grow hate wet feet. Another gardener gushed about how great the compost is.

With all these mixed reviews, I didn’t really use the compost leaning in any direction, but simply hoped that my plants would do well.

It was only after today’s excursion, and the intensive chatting with the owners of Greenback, that some things were impressed upon me:

Recommended mixing proportions

1. Don’t use the compost neat and pure. They and I aren’t sure why yet, but pure compost might (emphasis on MIGHT) be an overdose to the plant, and can potentially cause the plant to die off. Their recommended amendment is as such: 30% of GB to loamy soil; 50% to clayey soil; and 65% to sandy soil, as printed on their newest brochure;

2. I am extremely astounded at the sheer amount of horticultural waste which is produced just in Singapore alone. It pains my heart to know how much (potential) wastage there is, but it also heartens me a lot that I see the owners of Greenback turn this waste into a useful form;

3. Not all things which claim to be compost is compost. Greenback uses pure horticultural waste, which gives it a very big plus point in my view. After all, I really don’t like the idea of having manufactured wood (lacquer etc. anyone?) going into my soil, being absorbed into my plants, and me eating those plants. Ugh.

When all is said and done, however, the biggest visual proof to me that (their) compost works is the patch of land lining the back of their manufacturing plant. Rows of edible plants such as banana trees, papaya trees, rice plants, yam plants, huge patches of kang kong, and various other plants which I lack the skill to identify, are all thriving with the addition of their own compost to the soil. Now I wish I had taken pictures of the sheer sizes of the papayas and bananas! (I shall shout out to Curious Gardener for that, I hope!) And all from compost-turned-from-horticultural waste!

SO MANY EDIBLE PLANTS!!! I WANT THIS TO BE MY HOME!!!!!

Another small little structure housed some rows of vegetables, namely the lettuce and malabar spinach. The orange-brown clayey soil had also been amended with Greenback compost, and the plants all looked healthy despite the slight lack of direct sunlight in that area.

I absolutely LOVE the idea of this sustainable cycle – waste from plants is turned into something which sustains and helps plants grow; and those plants, in turn, if there are waste from them, can be turned into compost again to be used on them. This cycle is what I’ve been trying to do at home, and which I have only partially achieved. When I finally own my own farm one day after I migrate, I shall endeavor to create this sustainable cycle as much as I can!

All in all, I’ve had an enjoyable day interacting with the friendly guys who run Greenback, and have learned a lot from them.

Now that my current bag of GB compost is running out, I’m headed off to World Farm this Saturday to buy a few bags to top up!

Pasteurizing the in-progress compost to kill all pathogens etc.

Waste in the process of becoming useful compost

Amending the soil using Greenback compost (GB's own vegetable garden)

Blluuuuueeee skkkkyyyyy... | Machine: *roars*

Not waste anymore! =D

Black gold for plants. W00t!


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