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)
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 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!
Every October, front porches around the country are graced with the gorgeous hard squashes to herald the fall harvest, giving thanks for plenty, and the beloved Halloweentime. Ranging in color and size, the ubiquitous pumpkin [...]
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 [...]
Laura Prentice is passionate about turning trash into treasure through composting. She started composting as a teenager after taking a master composter training through her local Keep Texas Beautiful chapter. Now, she stays busy with gardening, herbalism, teen body literacy education, and transporting biodegradable waste to local farms in her blue pickup truck as a part-owner at Compost Carpool.