Sunday, August 12, 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.
the lamb manure "cooking"
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.


El said...

Yay compost! I heart your bins. AND your methods. I've been lazy this year so I am jealous.

Matron said...

I love my composting too! I have found a fresh hot source of horse manure, and during the Summer each week, I turn it and add grass clippings. It is so hot it is almost on fire! Gone down 6inches this week! - Love it!

Anthony said...

I'm jealous that you have a near by source of fresh manure. Here in Northern NJ the only manure you can easily get is in a bag. :(

Your compost operation is truly awesome! Well done.

Peg said...

Leslie, it's so funny! I just wrote a post about compost and then I check in with you and look at all you've accomplished. I'm jealous in the yay-for-you sort of way.

P.S. Good luck with Big Zack!