One of the best feelings ever, it turns out, it using compost. It's like magic: every few days, put all your produce scraps into a big old heap, add some brown yard waste, water it sometimes, churn it around a bit, and in a few months, amazing!--you've got thick, rich dirt. And worms. And grubs. And all manner of living things.
Today, James and I spent a good few hours in our garden getting our raised beds ready, cutting back some bushes that were threatening to take over the world, and otherwise preparing for things to spring-explode. And the compost was by far the highlight. It brings things full circle: last year, we used the soil to grow our various vegetables; this year, we can put the decomposed detritus of last year's crops back into that used-up soil so as to better raise this year's crops. It's the simplest thing ever, and I love it. It feels like this is how nature is supposed to work.
There's also nothing quite like getting dirty in your yard. It's like being a kid again, making mud pies (remember those, Alex?:) and otherwise fooling around, except that this time I get some lovely by-products as well. Like broccoli. Or chard and kale. Or peas. Tomatoes. Lavender. Blueberries, maybe. Strawberries if we're lucky. Not that there's anything wrong with mud pies, mind you, but it's pretty sweet to be able to actually eat the fruits (or vegetables:) of your labor, too.