So this is our new composting area. I used materials we had around the farm: old bits of fence material, cinder blocks, and a pallet from the feed store. It may not be very pretty, but hey, it's a pile of decomposing trash. I made two separate areas so that we could add to one while the other did it's composting thing.
The actual pile is layers of old compost, grass clippings, manure, food scraps, and shredded paper. Today I watered the whole mess so hopefully it will be ready to put back into the garden someday soon.
I ran across your blog and have enjoyed reading it all morning -- takes me back to my chicken-raising days and dreams of organic farming never realized. I do still keep a 25' x 25' home garden, though, and have some advice on composting. We have a grass catcher on both our riding and push mowers. We drive the riding mower out into the woods and empty the bins (grass clippings and oak leaves mostly) along the side of the path, making piles about 2.5' high. No walls or fencing to hold it together. We empty the push mower into a wheeled trash can and when that's full, we wheel that into the woods for emptying. With 2.5 acres to mow, the piles build up quickly, then sit for 2-3 years without us lifting a finger. Each spring at tilling time, we push the top layers off the oldest piles and use a flat shovel to scrape the most beautiful compost imaginable close to ground level. Once the garden is all tilled, composted and planted, we put some of the middle layer of compost over both hills and troughs, about 3-4" thick, which keeps the weeds way down as it continues to break down. We NEVER use the top layer which still has viable seeds in it! Over the years this has turned our hard clay soil almost into potting soil, with no effort at turning or watering the compost piles. The vegetables absolutely thrive in this soil, and the older the row, the better. There are still weeds, but not as many and most pull up easily after a rain. You seem to be working so hard every day, I wanted to share one labor-saving tip my husband and I discovered.ReplyDelete
Thanks for the tip! Right now we are mowing our 1 acre+ backyard with a push mower! Most of the clipping go into the pens for the birds to nibble on, but if we get some spare we'll be sure to start dumping it into the garden area.Delete