Monday, March 28, 2011

Compost: a hot party!

Did you know that you can make a good compost in as little as 18 days? Okay, maybe not during the winter time here in Montana, but it is possible.

Our pile was rockin' at our first "turn" about 15 days ago.

Just getting in to the pile.

Wow! What a hot party going on in there!

The key to a good compost pile is to have a lot of it (the minimum is about 3 cubic yards), a good mixture of nitrogen and carbon, some moisture, and to turn it every few days to help the whole pile break up. Peel the outside layers off in to a middle section, and rotate the organic matter around to create an even break-up of all the layers. 

We cover ours with a tarp, and some extra opaque plastic we have to cover the edges, weighted down by parts of an old trampoline frame (slightly curved). Using this method has yielded excellent results, without losing the size of the compost pile. Only about 50,000 more piles to go!

In our research we have discovered that you can, indeed, compost meat. In fact, a little protein is a good thing for your compost! The only drawback about meat is that it attracts predators. Or in other words, the dogs. They are curious, but actually leave it alone (when we're watching at least). 

Caleb moonlighting as a compost shepard.

It's going to be longer than 18 days for completion of our compost, but it's pretty close. And I've never seen such gold! Seeing such amazing results has me dreaming of a compost heated shower... 

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