One of my best memories of biology lessons at school was the introduction into fauna and flora in microscopic size. We harvested some grass outside the school building and cut it into little pieces. We stored it in a jar with some water for 3 weeks and we explored the life inside of one drop of the liquid under a microscope.
On September 2019 we designed a new bed in the entrance of the art camp, which is part of the color garden of CASAdelDRAGON. After harvesting delicious cauliflowers and some onions in January 2020 we prepared the bed for a new season with salads and herbs beginning of March 2020.
We cleaned the stone frame around and inside the bed and collected a big pile of grass and rotten organic material.
We covered the soil with hay from another field nearby and we tested the watering system.
Finally the bed was ready. But we thought about all the organic material with was part of this bed before. If we take out season by season salads and vegetables we need to fertilize and re-energize the soil. We are using already methods like composting and terra preta and water from aquaponics. The question was: what else we can try to transform organic waste into something useful for our beds.
The memory of the magical biology lesson guided us to another experiment.
We stored all the organic waste from cleaning the bed inside a blue barrel and placed it under a carob tree nearby. We filled it up with stored rain water.
The water will cloud greenish, stink and in the next 2 weeks there will be a strong increase of numerous bacteria, both aerobic and anaerobic. A lot of them will be later food for paramecium, a single – celled – organism. We will add some of the liquid to the bed when we are going to water the plants in the bed.
Paramecium is a very good indicator for water quality and in many aspects an interesting organism (its DNA has double size compared to humans).
To transform organic waste close to the bed into a useful fertilizer is a strategy we will explore more. Following the second law of thermodynamics and reduce the increase of entropy will guide us to our food of tomorrow.