Is the poster off his rocker?

Yes
55%
6
No
45%
5
 
Total votes: 11
Toil
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The language snob speaks: It's humus, not compost.

In soil science, humus refers to any organic matter that has reached a point of stability, where it will break down no further and might, if conditions do not change, remain essentially as it is for centuries, if not millennia.[2]
-wikipedia

I have been thinking about this word "compost". Its root and prefix mean the same essentially, as composite. It occurs to me we should keep calling the piles we make "compost" as they are "composed". Then, the composed organic matter decomposes. Yet we persist in calling this decomposed matter, which has reached stability, and dare i say, uniformity, "compost". In effect, its opposite!

So from now on, I make compost piles, and the result is humus.

(sound of crickets chirping and uneasy silence)


here's to swimming against the tide!
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Gerrie
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It's all poop to me :D
The spiritual life is first of all a LIFE, it is meant to be lived-Thomas Merton

bigdoug
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Well, Toil. With two votes, apparently Gerrie thinks you're nuts and I think you aren't. So I guess that makes you nuts, because anyone who'd let me vote on something would have to be nuts.

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rainbowgardener
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Not off your rocker, but perhaps a bit persnickity. I think you're right, but I'm likely to go on calling mine compost anyway!

The Helpful Gardener
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Big Doug raises an excellent point! :lol:

toil, if this makes you happy, then lash yourself to the mast and sail on, brutha. I am completely supportive of those creating their own reality, whether it dovetails with mine or not...

But I still have a compost pile that is a pile of compost. My act of human intervention has rendered unto my humus a new form... :wink:

The debate rages on...

I am not voting, either. Who am I to say? I'm quite mad, myself... :lol:

HG
Scott Reil

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Kisal
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But compost -- at least, the compost I've used for my yard and garden -- does break down further after it's added to the soil. Otherwise, you'd only have to add it once, and there would be no reason to have compost piles to create more to use in future years. No?
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

Gerrie
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Anyone who puts as much emphasis on garbage, as we do, is probably a little off their rocker. That said I'm going out to check on my poop.
The spiritual life is first of all a LIFE, it is meant to be lived-Thomas Merton

top_dollar_bread
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Kisal wrote:But compost -- at least, the compost I've used for my yard and garden -- does break down further after it's added to the soil. Otherwise, you'd only have to add it once, and there would be no reason to have compost piles to create more to use in future years. No?
isnt ther such thing as active and stable humus. active humus i beleive is what most of us have in what we call compost, witch helps feed plants by breaking down over time. stable humus i think isnt what most of our compost is, unless you let that compost sit for a while longer and maybe add some char..
i think good compost will have both stable and active but more then likely more active humus. :P
but yea toil, your crazy/MAD with words..im sure i have met you in another forum

Toil
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:wink:

I voted for "off his rocker".

I like that. stable humus vs. active humus.

I make a compost, then the microbes turn it into active humus, and thanks to the charcoal I leave behind some stable humus.

thanks!

I have to point out though, that even the active humus is relatively stable, compared to a barrel of poop and rotten tomatoes.
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garden5
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I don't think you're nuts at all, you're just technical, and that's really a good thing. You are looking to know what really is correct, not just what everyone says is correct. It's like all those people who call tomatoes vegetables (they are actually fruit). Look at all those people who praised the adjustable rate mortgages; they were great, until the "adjustable" part made itself known. The point is that it is great to obtain a correct knowledge, even (sometimes especially) of terminology, even if it is just for your own benefit.

Now, there is something to be said about "making things unnecessarily complicated by the use of big words." (it was a prominent literary figure who said that, can't think of his name) I'm not saying that "humus" is a large or scientifically obscure word, but it is a word that most of us do not know the true meaning of. Most gardeners, when they hear the word "humus" will think about anything that is rich, black, loamy, and usually found on the forest floor. While they may or may not be correct in thinking this, they probably do know know what truly justifies something as being humus or not. If I'm in a room with ten people who are talking about composting and referring to their finished compost as "compost," I will probably do the same. Although I might insert how finished compost is actually humus, I won't just start calling it that and have everyone wonder what I'm talking about.

In the end, It's good to know the proper word for something, the additional, commonly used words for something, and the proper circumstances in which to use each of them.

How I took something this simple and turned it into a philosophical essay I'll never know. :roll:
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boggybranch
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If your cat has kittens in the oven....do you call them bisquits? :lol:
Appx. 1,500 sq ft vegetable garden. Special gardening interests is composting and year-round mulching. Use no power equipment, everything is done in the garden using hand tools, only.

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