Why this Toronto gardener won't think about composting the same way
File this post under, literally, scatalogical humour or simply, WTF, but this is a gardening blog after all and an irreverent one at that. (There are way too many how-to-grow-this-plant blogs out there. I refuse to add to the tedium.) Anyway, I can't make this stuff up.
I'm a big fan of composting: either doing it yourself in your backyard with some sort of contraption (bin, pit, pile, whatever you have handy) or diverting your organic green waste via the municipality's recycling program (if offered in your area.) So it was with a tinge of curiosity, disapproval and arousal that I re-discovered about the benefits of composting offered in the calendar (and video!) below:
Apparently, the Fertile Earth Foundation in Miami wondered aloud
How many people think about their poop as often as we do? How often do you ponder your #2? It tells us a lot about our health and what we need to eat, if we are dehydrated and so on. Plus, did you know there are safe ways to turn even our waste into Humanure? Yes, that is composted human poop! Your poop could be turned into to super rich black gold! Ok, maybe we're grossing you out. Let's change the subject. How often do you think about sex? Or beautiful women? This project is a tasteful synergy of those 2 things: The Ladies of Manure 2013 Calendar.
Now, don't start flaming me for bringing this non-profit organization's eco-friendly message to your collective conscience (something about not shooting the messenger.) I think we can all agree that while the goal of composting your coffee grounds and apple cores is noble, using sex to sell the message is cynical and unsettling to most people. (One can't say unsuccessful though as the Foundation has raised over $5 000 to date.)
Which got me thinking about sex and gardening, off the top of my head. There's always been an uncomfortable association in the West between the two topics, going all the way back (for believers) to Adam and Eve. To add human waste in the mix, metaphorically, is really too much for some tender gardeners. Since I'm from the East (China) where fertilizing with human manure is still common and not taboo, the concept isn't gag-me gross or mind-blowing.
I didn't think someone had the "vision" to incorporate three human needs (to excrete, to pro-create and to garden) in a calendar so either kudos or arrows to the creator.
By the way, this is what our fair city's recycling and waste pickup calendar's cover looks like if you're curious:
By Paul Jung, author of "garden muses: a Toronto gardening blog"