Soils in Greece are typically poor, thirsty and require amending with organic matter to improve physical structure and microbial diversity, especially for most food crops and ornamental or decorative nonnative landscape plants. The benefits of amending local soils with organic material – especially composted– are numerous, and include improvement in plant vigor and crop yields, and decreased use of irrigation water, fertilizers and pesticides. In food production, the more thorough uptake of nutrients by hardy crops results in healthier food. Environmental benefits range from decreased erosion and less contamination of local water sources to minimized health risks to farm workers.
Compost has the unique ability to improve the properties of soils and growing media physically (structurally), chemically (nutritionally), and biologically. Although many equate the benefit of compost use to lush green growth, caused by the plant available nitrogen, the real benefits of using compost are long-term and related to its content of living-organic matter.
Reductions in landfill methane emissions by diverting compostable organics as well as carbon sequestration through use of compost and carbon-beneficial agricultural practices have been well-researched and documented. Applying compost to just five percent of California’s rangelands at a depth of ½ inch holds the potential to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 28 million metric tons per year; the equivalent of removing six million cars from the road!
So, still have second thoughts?