This weekend I tried to make a semi-secluded corner in the yard by putting up trellissy stuff and planting mandevilla (it’s the first step of many, I imagine) and a couple of zinnias. The soil back in that corner looked like it had been in some sort of war zone, so the approach that usually works in this yard – dig a hole, put something in it, wait for that something to grow into a monstrosity – seemed a bad idea. [As a side note: one of the added features of a house that stays uncared for over a few years is that the dirt gets amazing, full of dead stuff and nutrients. I think this is why everything grows huge and ungainly here. It's like growth hormone for plants.]
I have, however, been quietly and lazily composting yard and ungross kitchen waste since this winter. I dug into my compost pile, and? I? HAVE MADE DIRT. The bottom of the pile is dark, rich, you-can’t-buy-this soil, complete with helpful creatures.
That is awesome. I have made some art that really moved me. I have done work that felt like it mattered. And now? I have made dirt, the most fundamental thing you can make outside yourself.