The coffee splatter pattern is really the washings out from a couple of buckets of coffee grounds the local cafe kindly gave me, and which I dumped in the compost bin. Food for worms, hopefully!

One of those things that seems obvious as soon as somebody says it: Coffee grounds add acid to the soil. As my stomach could have told me. Anyhow, I’m on a riverbank bluff, so I’ve got clay-y soil, and adding acid makes the soil less alkaline, which leads to happier plants. Or so I’m told.

So, the soil amendments for my clay so far this winter are: A few scuttlefuls of ashes from cleaning out the woodstove, coffee grounds, and lots and lots of leaf mulch cycled from the previous year’s banking. In the spring I hope to add a yard or so of seafood compost (i.e., not not not “municipal solid waste”). I have no idea whether any of these amendments will “work”; soil amendment is really an art verging on science that I haven’t even begun to master. Nevertheless, I keep stumbling into good solutions even out of ignorance, so perhaps my patch of land and I are in tune in some pre-scientific, mythologically structured way.

Every scientist should keep a lab notebook; I guess this blog is mine.