Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The compost operation

A few weeks ago I gathered a back end full of lamb manure from the farmer across the field. I then began the Charles Wilber method of cooking it and turning it into usable compost for the garden. I am using two new wire bins and have placed them right on top of one of the garlic beds. So far I have turned it twice and it is still humming along out there at 120 degrees. I expect it will decrease in size by half when I am through cooking it. I really think that my garden productivity this season is related to the quality of this composted local manure.

But I also have two other composting centers. One is a pair of bins that take essentially yard waste. I do nothing to accelerate the decomposition and only turn it once a year. In the spring I move the decomposed stuff from the center of both bins to a storage pile and then I put all of the undecomposed stuff back into one of the bins to slowly cook for another year.

And finally there is the garbage operation. I use a black plastic bin that holds the heat well and is designed to let the rain in . Right now it is like an oven in there cooking at 145 degrees. That's because I just turned it which I try to do about once a month.

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