Monday, January 14, 2013

Making Compost Happen

Update 4/4/2013: This blog post was merged to "Daddykirbs Farm Blog". Please reset your bookmarks so you don't miss any super exciting updates to my garden and orchard!

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For a long time I've wanted to compost and in small ways I have.  This year I have lots of ideas to make it happen on a larger scale. My goal is to have compost for the gardens whenever I want it.  Well, that means that it has to get started.

Right now I have my "Every Day Scraps" composter that is working pretty well for taking care of the kitchen scraps.  This compost barrel is pretty efficient, but doesn't produce a lot of compost.  Inside is an active colony of Black Soldier Fly (BSF) larvae. They are amazing at reducing the scraps to just a brown goo. Because the BSF are there and it is a closed container I don't mind throwing in small amounts of meats and fats.

What I really want is big pile of manure type compost for the garden.  This bin will be the start of making that happen. I have talked with the horse farmer down the road and we have a deal. I shovel the poo out of the stalls and take it as my payment. I will be looking for a good source of carbon as well to mix with the poo. For now I am picking up bags of leaves in the neighborhoods that are out for pickup. I am also considering talking to the local company that makes trusses and seeing about picking up the sawdust from the large saw.  I happen to know that they only use untreated wood.

Chicken Checking Out New Crate for Compost - Daddykirbs Garden Blog

The cool thing about this new compost bin is that it is a shipping crate that I didn't have to pay for or construct. It was sitting behind my workplace just like you see it. I just put it on the pickup and brought it home. Once in place I put some cardboard in the bottom to start the first layer. You can see Helena the hen is very interested in whats going on here :)

I also have a compost pile that I add manure and leaves too. Here are the chickens enjoying tearing my pile up.

This is a short clip that shows me adding leaves to the big pile. Check out the steam!

There are many things that can be composted. I seem to have plenty of "greens" but don't always have plenty of "browns". I started tossing in my toilet paper rolls to help fluff up the mix and to add the important browns.

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