I spent lots of time during my childhood playing with soil. I remember the smell of rotten mangoes and guavas at my grandmother's house. I remember stepping over the mushy fruit mantle in her backyard, the worms moving slowly, eating the decaying fruits. We would spend hours outside, collecting fruits, playing with ants, initiating mud wars, playing with the rain, falling from trees.
My aunt would sweep the stairs and the leaves would fall on the ground and decompose. There wasn't much maintenance but things would grow, die, and then go back to earth and become nutrients. Of course, at that age I didn't think about it that way.
After years of disconnection from my natural surroundings, I decided to play again with soil: feel it with my feet, observe what grows in it, compost my food scraps. I am new to gardening, but one of the things that fascinates me the most is learning more about soil -- It is a living, dynamic ecosystem. We stand on it, we eat from it, it supports life. There are more microorganisms in a teaspoon of healthy soil than there are people on the earth! All these million of species and organisms process organic matter into rich, dark, stable humus in the soil.
Soil for me is an ongoing project, and I will never stop learning and experimenting. We will talk about it more in detail in future blog entries, but I want to encourage people to get closer to it. Take off your shoes and walk barefoot and feel all the energy beneath your feet.
If you know any places where you can compost your food waste, do it! It is very rewarding to reduce your waste and add nutrients back to earth. It takes a bit of time to build the routine of saving it in your fridge and then throwing it out in a compost bin, but since we started doing it at my house, we throw away less garbage every week. It gets so easy after a while that now I pick it up from two of my neighbors and my parents. Once you start seeing food scraps as living, nourishing entities, it becomes easier to compost.
If you live in Miami, we've listed some places where you can drop off your compost or learn more about it. We hope one day this will become something each household can do.