Notes to broadcasters
This program is one of a series of scripts in this package involving the characters Philip (Program Host) and Dr. Compost (Peter Composter). Philip is from the city. He has a weak stomach and is sceptical about farming methods. Dr. Compost is from a rural background but has a university education in agriculture. He puts science on a pedestal, but remains true to his humble roots. The dialogue between Philip and Dr. Compost is meant to be humorous and friendly.
In this script Philip and Dr. Compost discuss an easy way to make compost. Compost is an important part of a farmer’s soil fertility program. Farmers in your audience should know that their crops are only as good as the soil in which they grow. Adding compost to the soil is like putting money in the “soil bank.” If the “soil bank” is rich, the crop will be good. But in many parts of the world, the soil is exhausted, yields are poor, and plants are more vulnerable to disease and insect attack.
Compost adds nutrients to the soil. It makes the soil easier to plough. Compost also helps hold moisture in the soil. Often, the materials needed to make compost are available right on the farm, such as livestock manure, kitchen waste, and crop residues.
Script 6 in this package (Dr. Compost talks about compost piles) is about another method of making compost, and can be used with this program.
Other program ideas about improving soil fertility include:
- The easiest way to make compost, based on a local survey
- How cover crops such as legumes can improve soil fertility
- A review of crop rotation practices used in the community.
A city radio host
Dr. Compost, Ph.D.:
(Peter Composter): Agricultural specialist, about age 70, and somewhat forgetful. He has a farming background but also a university education. His problem is that, sometimes, he wanders away from the topic. Nevertheless, the information he provides is always interesting, useful and practical.
INTRODUCE THEME MUSIC AND FADE OUT (10 seconds)
-Good day to our listeners out there. Many of you will be pleased to know that we’ve invited Dr. Peter Composter back today. Dr. Compost is an agricultural specialist and an expert in making compost. Welcome back, Peter.
– Good to be here, Philip.
-I understand that today you are going to talk about a fast, easy way to make compost and feed plants in a garden.
– Yes. All you have to do is dig a bunch of small pits in your garden and throw fresh kitchen waste in them.
-Are you suggesting that we litter our gardens with all kinds of kitchen scraps?
– If you do it in an orderly fashion, your plants will love you, Philip. You see, you won’t be planting your vegetables right into these pits. I call them Paradise Nests. You will space them out – on your garden bed – about one metre apart. You will be planting your seeds quite close to the pits – about 6 to 8 centimetres away from the pit. This is a good distance for the roots to reach for the nutrients and moisture.
-The distance is quite intimate.
– Well, yes. I call these garden pits Paradise Nests because, for your roots, they are like heavenly pockets of food and water. They hold the compost in place. After you dig the pit, make a little fence around each pit…
– Well, yes. But, as I mentioned, I call it a nest. You can gradually put your waste and manure into the pit, or you can dump it all into the pit at one time. After you dump your kitchen scraps and manure into the pit, cover it with leaves and weeds. Plant your seeds a little distance away from the pit – about 6 to 8 centimetres away.
-Is that it? Now you just water the garden?!
– At the beginning, you should water the seeds or seedlings directly. Once the plants are established, their roots will grow toward the nearest compost nest. At that point you can just water the compost nest itself.
-It’s a good way to make compost right in the garden. No fuss!
– Yes, you can immediately take your kitchen and garden waste to the garden – and just put it in the pits. The pit holds the compost in place. And the pits are little reservoirs of nutrients and moisture.
-Very good. Peter, thank you for coming in today.
– My pleasure, Philip.
THEME MUSIC AND FADE OUT
Adapted by Sunny Ray, Toronto, Canada, from Farm Radio Network script 20-7, Make compost in small pits in the garden, 1991.
Reviewed by Keith Johnson, Assistant Editor, The Permaculture Activist, North Carolina, USA.