A model of research and service development

There is not much to do in the garden in winter time in Finland, at least not in my level of gardening skills. I let everything hibernate under the snow. Instead, there is a lot of work to do with the composter. Composting has really turned out to be much more demanding than I expected. Last year, my composter froze when there was a period of minus 25 degrees in January. This winter, it froze well before Christmas even if there was hardly minus 8 degrees. I had obviously not been feeding it regularly enough. Perhaps our bio-waste was not inspiring enough for the composter.

I studied user guide and articles in the Internet and consulted more competent friends. I concluded that the composter wants to eat fish. Unfortunately I seldom cook fish, so waste related to preparing fish is hardly even available. I considered letting a package of frozen coalfish rotten in a plastic box and serve it to the composter after a week. But then I organized a big party in January, and quite a portion of shrimp salad was left over. A success! With hot water and shrimp salad and quite a lot of turning and shoveling the temperature started to rise again.

However, next problem was just around the corner. I had taken the most mature material (almost-mold) from the bottom to another composter, but it started to seem to me that the composter got full again with less waste than the amount of almost-mold I had taken away. I considered the possibility that it might actually be a Sampo, a magic machine from the Finnish national literary treasure Kalevala (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sampo ). The Sampo produces out of nothing flour, salt and other valuable materials for its owner. Certainly material was increasing within my composter. Perhaps soon something more than almost-mold could be expected?

Another explanation could of course be that the material was not falling to the bottom. I spend many moments shoveling and stabbing the material with a variety of objects (my actual composter tool flew away in snowstorm, but it was not strong enough anyway). This made me very philosophical. I thought about how I read and listen and analyse data and urge various information into my brain. All this information sometimes feels like a cognitive chaos going around without producing anything constructive. Then some moment suddenly the chaos organizes itself to a clear idea.

Today I noticed that the situation was critical. The composter was absolutely full. But in the bottom there was not mature almost-mold to be taken away. There was an empty cave. Whatever I did, the material above did not fall down and fill the cave.

I had to shovel the less mature surface layers out, to the second degree composter (a simple container) and buckets. This made me really philosophical. Such is also research and development work. Sometimes you just have to take everything out, do the base work again and start the project from the beginning. However, in rethinking you will often find that the previous work was not all in vain. Many pieces, ideas, sentences and theories can be used again. The material in my composter was not either raw bio waste any more. My endless moments of shoveling and turning had obviously been good for it. Even the more surface layers were actually almost-mold. I put some of it back to the first line composter and let some of it stay in second line container.

However, perhaps the composter also is a Sampo. I found a spoon in it. Not like those I have in the kitchen but one of a more expensive collection.