My favorite aspect of Mezzacello is the #ZeroWaste strategy we strive to employ here. Nothing is whimsical; if you have nothing to add to the greater welfare of the ecosystem you have no purpose here. Rick and I violate this principle on occasion, because sometimes you just need to rest LOL!. But for the rest of the five enclosed ecosystems, there is a role that is played. You grow, you display your beauty, utility, or use, and you expire and go back into the system. For humans this is a Dickens/Dystopian nightmare, but for the natural world it is the rule of law. If these hydrangea were growing in the wild they would be deer food or forest floor in 8 more months. Reason through this reality. These hydrangea exist in all of their glorious abundance BECAUSE other plants and animal wastes were collected, distributed and transformed into life. Sit with that for a moment.

One of the two 18m hydrangea hedges at Mezzacello. Jim Bruner | Mezzacello
Collected cut blooms for processing. Jim Bruner | Mezzacello
The most beautiful compost meets the shredder. Jim Bruner | Mezzacello

Last summer I was running urban ag camps here at Mezzacello. The kids loved it! This Is My Why what’s not to love? One of my favorite memories was a 10 year old girl who COULD NOT wrap her mind around the idea that compost is a way of deconstructing matter into forms that nature could reuse. Well, I took that to heart. I showed her and 100 other kids That:

  • fish and pond wastes
  • tree, bush and plant leaves
  • rabbit, chicken and duck wastes
  • the grass
  • the vegetables and fruit
  • the beautiful hedgerows
  • even the pretty flowers in the vase on the table

All have a dual purpose. NHCOPS (Nitrogen, Hydrogen, Carbon, Oxygen, Phosphorus, and Sulphur) are universal. Something can be USEFUL and BEAUTIFUL at the same time. In fact, the most exquisite things are.

#ProjectMartian is winding down. I am compiling the final report. I am proud of these ecosystems as much as I am proud of those kids last summer that saw the line that unites life and death and twists the middle of that circle to create infinity. Life on another planet does not have to be done at the cost of transcendence or beauty; it’s not a grim affair. Their is as much opportunity for joy and hope as there is for fear and anxiety. The trick is being comfortable with the magic in between.

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