I've been working on developing my compost garden for a couple of years now. It has been a labor of love: hauling rock after rock, figuring out how they best fit together, learning I placed it too close to the transformer and having to start all over again. It is not only a functional way of disposing of kitchen scraps, but has turned into a beautiful serene garden spot for anyone needing a place of solitude for prayer or, as I often love to say, simply listening to the heartbeat or breath of God.
The keyhole design of the garden came from an article in Old Farmer's Almanac. The opening of the keyhole leads to a simple "chimney" made from leftover bricks. The rest of the circle is filled with soil and planted with carrots and strawberries. As the kitchen scraps are added to the chimney in the center of the garden the scraps compost down, leech into the soil, and provide rich nutrients for whatever is planted in the top. I harvested my first carrots this week, a few going into a pot of chicken soup for tonight's dinner.
The whole garden has become a little ecosystem for all sorts of critters, some of which force me to rebuild parts of the garden from time to time, but all is good. It has become a wonderful reminder that death makes room for new life. Produce from days past nurtured the soil for today's carrots.
Next year, I'm looking forward to strawberries--if the birds, chipmunks, deer, and whatever else wanders up from the woods, don't beat me to them. Some old bananas are dying for the cause along with the pulp from my juicer. I wonder what I need to compost in my life so that something wonderful can grow? Maybe it's time to sit on that stone bench in the compost garden and listen to the breath of God.