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Composting obsession

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Maverickhawk

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Composting is something I have experimented with for the last 20 years. I've learned it has just a few rules. Moisture and content. How you process it can vary with mixed results. These are things we all know. The unspoken truth is it takes a lot of material to make a small amount of good product. My experience leads me to believe that two 55gal barrels of kitchen material with various manures and yard clippings will net no more than 1 to 3 gal of good compost.
I'm always thinking of ways to increase production. Since I still live and work in a semi suburban area I have dreamed of going into local food establishments and providing smaller barrels with dry absorbent material to be used till I could collect them regularly. Not sure if or how this would work but it's fun to think about.
The most encouraging and quite exciting process is not something I can do now. It is from a youtube video I recently came across. Sorry, but I'm not good at linking. Not even sure what I was looking for but the title was about having chickens and not being smelly.
I don't even remember if this family was even in america. Regardless they had a fair amount of chickens and he would have a local tree service or saw mill truck in mulch and add local manure. He made a 50/50 mixture then he piled it up to 8in thick in the chicken pen. One could vary any or add more components. He also would move the chicken's to another side and garden the composted side. Don't argue the problems, solve them.

Another method I tried was using " Red Wiggler " worms. What a PITA! Extremely sensitive to control. Moisture content constantly difficult to maintain.

One of the coolest experiences I happened on was by mistake. We had some land about 30 miles away from our resident. I was planting trees and wanted to amend the soil for them so rather than bag our leaves around the house for the trash pick up I would take the bags to the land and pile them where I was going to plant a tree. We didn't get all the trees planted that fall so we went back in the spring to plant more and when we dug into the leaf piles I noticed how the grass under these piles was gone and easier to dig. What I really didn't expect was the absolute massive amount of earth worm's there was. Probably as many as 20 to 30 per shovel full. Now when I drive around town in the fall I dream of taking all those leaves to the country to pile them high. It's easy to see where all the Night Crawlers come from. I remember as a kid we would grab flashlights and go around the neighborhood and try to catch night crawler's to fish with. I also learned recently that if you go out on some fall night's if the temperature is around 50 to 60 degrees you can actually hear the night crawlers pulling the leaves down their holes. It's a faint cracking sound. Kinda cool.

This is what I have learned. Teach me more. What are your thoughts and experiences?
 

Amish Heart

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We feed all our kitchen scraps to the chickens, use straw in the hen houses, clean out the hen houses and pile it. Can use it in a year. Straw and poop. This years garden will be aged cow manure and dirt.
 

Meerkat

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We use leaves I rake up leaves use coffee grinds green grass in season. in a compost tumbler. Pile leaves into a 8x8 little frnced in area. Not muh chicken manure because we don't want to wait that long. But lately I got lazy lots going on past 2 years.
It doesn't take alot of compost for us since we had hydroponic and used compost only in containers and one raised bed, othes are covered with leaves,straw.
We don't have kitchen scraps hens eat those.
 

Meerkat

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PS, but we turn the compost at least once a week so it cooks pretty fast. Well I did when we were growing. Hoping to start back this spring since its been 2 yr.s now since we had a garden.
 
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Meerkat

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We keep it simple since everything we do is with a shovel or pitch fork or by hand 'weeding'. But then there are just us two here not any help at all.Kids use to come down and help some now they have their own grandkids or trying to hold onto jobs in this new society. Hubby does have a riding lawn tractor for cutting grass. But the forest is moving in on us now.
 

joel

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joel

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