Other than awesome local farmers, when we ask the question, “Who Are Our Partners in Composting?” we partner with bacteria and fungi! Let’s take a look at just how both partner with us.

Partnering With Fungi

Fungi are especially cool. They create amazing networks of mycelia that convey nutrients through their tiny threads and allow the fungus to break down plant matter. (Super important for making compost.)

(the white stuff visible in the photo below)

Network-Of-Mycelia-In-Fungi

Fungi produce mushrooms (the reproductive part of the organism) and long networks of mycelia (the rootlike white threads visible in this picture). 

Mycelia also allow trees to communicate with each other and even share water and minerals! Older trees may use these mycelial connections (also called mycorrhizal networks) to send much needed support to younger trees through their roots. What a beautiful relationship! 

If you dig through a pile of wood chips or a bag of leaves, you’ll likely spot these fibrous white strands. Fungi love carbon-rich material (leaves, wood, paper, etc.) and are experts at breaking it down.  

In a compost pile, fungi are more active in the later stages after the pile has cooled down some.

What about our partnership with Bacteria?

Bacteria are the awesome initial powerhouses of a pile. They especially like nitrogen-rich material, like manure, green grass, and food scraps and their activity heats up a compost pile in the presence of sufficient moisture.   

Bacteria-The-Powerhouse-Of-Composting

Bacteria heat up a compost pile as they break down nitrogen-rich material. 

We need a healthy balance of nitrogen and carbon-rich materials in a compost pile to feed both the bacteria and fungi that work to break them down. Too much nitrogen and the pile will get smelly and too hot with a bacterial feast. Too much carbon and the pile won’t heat up enough because there’s not enough food for the bacteria. 

As in life, with composting it’s all about the right balance! If we create a healthy environment, fungi and bacteria will thrive and be excellent partners in composting. 

Now that we know just who are our partners in composting, why not consider partnering with Compost Carpool in making the most of our resources? Get in touch today!