Sunday, January 22, 2012

COMPOSTING

I have been using my current (albeit minimal) composting method for many years now.  It has worked well during the winter & fall months. This spring we will be building three large compost bins that will accommodate the 100 lbs. of horse manure I am anticipating getting daily when I bring my horses home. To this I will add chicken manure, trimmings, weeds, produce etc... and will begin composting correctly and efficiently. But for now, I thought I would share with you my process at this point.  It works and gives me nutrient rich soil for my vegetables.  Once the garden has been cleared of its bounty and the left behinds, I begin turning the soil manually with a shovel.  Once it is all turned under I add a layer of leaves and grass clippings in each bed and during the fall/winter months anything that my chickens won't eat goes into the beds.  Throughout the week as I clean out my chicken coop I add their bedding and manure to my raised beds.  At the end of January I begin turning the organic matter under (again with a shovel) and continue adding produce and chicken manure until the end of March.  At this time I turn the beds every week so that the organic matter decomposes and is no longer identifiable when it comes time to plant in the spring.  (usually just before Mothers Day).  Below is a before and after pic.  Happy Composting, whatever your method!

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