Many of us get our compost materials from elsewhere, perhaps the garden center or a local farmer.
And that’s okay. Most of us are gardening on the side, doing other work that enables us to purchase these inputs, thus helping out the person we’re buying them from.
If a garden store or farmer is selling or giving away straw or manure, you’re helping them out my buying or taking it, so I have no problem with this.
But if we want to be truly self sustainable, we should be growing our own compost materials.
Growing biointensively means reserving 60% of your growing area for grasses and legumes that will then be used to make your compost.
Whether or not you use that much area, even devoting a smaller portion of your yard to growing cover crops will bring many benefits.
Many grasses also produce food, from oats to rye to wheat, which makes them doubly useful.
And while most of the legumes that are best for composting don’t produce food, such as vetch and clover, they’re important for bringing nitrogen from the air into your garden (by partnering with bacteria in the soil), so they’re highly useful as well.
There are many benefits to the soil when you grow cover crops, and of course there are benefits to using the compost that comes from them.
Here’s my video (and text) on how to use cover crops. You can ask your questions at the bottom of that page: