Break It Down

from Grow Do It - Album by Formidable Vegetable

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1. Find a sheltered spot in the yard at least 1 square metre in size and gather equal-ish amounts of “Green” and “Brown” compost ingredients (“Greens” are generally moist things like animal manure, fresh weeds or lawn clippings and seaweed. “Browns” are dry things like straw, sawdust, shredded paper, cardboard and dry leaves.)

2. Make a layer of Browns thick enough to cover the ground and put a pole or star picket in the middle to build the pile around.

3. Pile the layers up green/brown/green/brown like a lasagne, watering each layer well as you go.

4. When the pile is about a metre high, cap it off with a layer of browns, give it a good watering and leave it for two to three weeks.

5. Check it regularly to see if it’s getting hot (if it doesn’t get hot in 48 hours, you might have to adjust your ingredients), to keep it cranking, turn the pile by deconstructing it layer by layer into a new pile next to it, adding more water as you go. After about three months, it should be broken down and ready to spread around your garden beds!


Break it down
Get it back in the ground
Cycle it round
that green and brown

Break it down
If it was once alive
Make your garden thrive
High five!

Down it breaks
In a scrap layer-cake
Pile it up high
Then let it bake

Give it some air
but don’t let it dry out
Every now and then
fluff it about

Everything is always
falling apart
There’s no need
to let it break your heart
Just break it down

Breaking down
Microbes goin to town
Getting their fix
til it’s all devoured

Broken down,
Time to feed your plants
Spread it right out
and do a little dance

Everything is always
falling apart
Might as well
just give it all
a brand new start
and break it down

When the time is up
just break it down!


from Grow Do It - Album, released September 2, 2016
Charlie Mgee: ukulele & vocals
Mal Webb: gourd bass
Michael Barker: drums
Spoonbill (Jim Moynihan): wonky beets & squishy phun
Mayuka Juber: baritone sax
Lee Hardisty: tenor sax

Written by Charlie Mgee & Formidable Vegetable Sound System.

Recorded at: Twisty Pole Studios - Rotorua, NZ, Casa-del-Mal - St Kilda, VIC, Mt Lawley, WA & Maleny, QLD.

Produced by Spoonbill & Charlie Mgee.
Mixed & mastered by Spoonbill in King Lake, VIC.

Thanks to Jaide & Daniel Stronggrove for inspiring this one!


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Formidable Vegetable Fremantle, Australia

Permaculture funk-swing for a changing world.

With a wheelbarrow full of dirty electro radish-beets, crusty jazz ukulele, swingin' strings and hyperactive horns, Formidable Vegetable are here to sow the garden of your mind with seeds of future-resilience in the funkiest way possible.

"So infectious that the most ardent climate sceptic would have trouble staying still"- Sydney Morning Herald.
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