compost

I'm working on a compost system that will use on our farm. The base is a simple and free pallet system where we will build boxes as we go. 1) spent trays from our microgreens operation and 2) veg scraps from a store and a restaurant. I want to make it as simple and low maintenance as possible, to the extent that I am thinking about not turning the pile. Many people will likely scoff at that idea, but it's a time management issue. I will let nature take it's course after the initial heating up phase of the pile. I am looking for any tips or tricks from anyone that is currently playing around with compost. Recipes are on my mind. Being mostly peat, it looks like our spent trays might hover around 60:1 for c/n ratio and veg scraps are 25:1. If you have any thoughts or resources, please let me know.

Answers

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,519 admin

    Welcome @contact111! I am not one who actively does compost (we have a traditional manure pile & the animals eat our extra scraps) but many here do actively compost. You will certainly get a lot of good advice here.

    When you get a moment, please leave a short introduction in our Introductions section so that we have a general idea where you are from. 😄

  • contact111
    contact111 Posts: 4
    edited August 2022

    Just left a comment in Introductions with a few details. We are in the Northeast US (CT specifically). It's very hot here at the moment.

  • vickeym
    vickeym Posts: 2,116 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Welcome to the group. Wish I could help more with the compost, I would love to be able to do more compost here (South central Alaska)But it takes forever. As @LaurieLovesLearning said we mostly feed our scraps to our animals and our compost is mainly chicken litter.

  • SuperC
    SuperC Posts: 951 ✭✭✭✭

    @contact111 make sure to add browns to the compost, this will encourage worm tunneling and mycelium to grow causing breakdown of the scraps. Sometimes cutting the larger pieces of foods into bite size pieces helps the compost breakdown to be faster. Is the compost you have in a shade or sun area? If in the sun then you may choose to water it or if you have a dehumidifier, pour the water onto the compost. You can even pour boiled fruit and/or veggie water on it, too.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,641 admin

    Welcome to TGN @contact111.

    We currently don't have any animals so the compost gets everything. We have a 3 compost pile system. All kitchen scraps, garden waste and lawn clippings go into the first bin. We also have the availability of fresh cattle manure and we add a bit of that to the first bin to help it along (adds bacteria and heat). The last bin is useable compost. These bins are at the edge of the garden and get watered whenever we have the sprinkler on the garden, although it doesn't always reach depending on where it is situated. So that keeps it wet enough.

    In the spring and fall we take compost out of the finished bin and use it on our garden beds. When that bin is empty we move the second bin to the third bin and the first bin into the second. So in effect, we turn the bins every 6 months for a total time of 18 months to get finished compost. Its a pretty easy, low maintenance system.

    Not sure where in Connecticut you are but if you are close enough to the ocean, you could add seaweed to your compost.

    There are activators that you can get to "speed up" your compost if you think it isn't working well enough.

  • annbeck62
    annbeck62 Posts: 1,024 ✭✭✭✭

    I do very simple composting. I've taken scraps and buried them in the earth. I let it break down naturally and this have improved the soil over time. I also have a compost pile. I do not turn it. Browns are mostly leaves from trees on the property that land in the compost pile on their own. So those who compost the way "you're supposed to" probably cringe at the way I do it. I can tell things grow in my compost pile all the time so even though it's not the "right" way to do it, it seems to work out :)

  • dogsnoseknows
    dogsnoseknows Posts: 2

    May be of interest/use to you:

    The No Turn AUTO-Composter Build with Matt Powers

    Do you wish you could have aerated hot compost WITHOUT the Back Pain? Without all that turning the organic material?

    THIS IS THE SOLUTION!!

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,641 admin

    Welcome @dogsnoseknows.

    When you have a minute, check out the introductions section and let us know where you are from. We have members from all over the world.

    This looks like it would work if your aim is to get quick compost from very few ingredients. You are building the pile and waiting for it to "cook". Then repeating the process. I'm in the north (Canada) and this wouldn't be a solution that would work as well for me.

    My compost is more ongoing as it gets added to seasonally. Kitchen scraps year round but everything else is seasonal. Weeds in the spring and throughout the summer, grass clippings in the summer, leaves and garden waste in the fall, manure twice annually as turn out and round up takes place.

  • JodieDownUnder
    JodieDownUnder Posts: 1,483 admin

    @contact111 welcome to TGN. I used to turn compost, thinking it was necessary, I no longer do this. I use pallets to contain the pile & a sheet of tin at the front a bit lower than the pallets. I throw in household scraps, weeds, manure, leaves etc. when it reaches close to the top of the tin,(this may take many months) I disassemble the pallets & rebuild them right next door to the old compost pile. I scrape the newest additions off the top of the old pile & put as a starter in the new bin. I then have beautiful moist, black compost full of worms.

    I do get some germination of some seeds, probably because the process has not been hot enough in the cooking stage but I can live with that & not get a broken back in the turning process. Gotta look after the old body! I also put a long thickish piece of metal rod in the compost (think tent peg)& occasionally pull it out to check the temperature, if its warm, then its doing its thing. If its cool, then I add a good layer of fresh manure, that gets it going.

  • judycokerea
    judycokerea Posts: 2

    I am older, not as energetic as in my early years and I’ve become a bit lazy about composting. I might turn a pile when I feel like it.

    I do various things. Vermicompost bin for vege/food scraps, compost tumbler (scraps and dry grass clippings or shredded leaves) throw it in a pallet bin (mostly grass clippings, shredded leaves and wood chips), chop and drop when trimming plants, keyhole bury hole in raised bed if I have a lot of vege/fruit scraps.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,519 admin

    Welcome @judycokerea! You sound very practical. I think that's great!

    Please let us know where you are from in the Introductions section when you have a moment. 🙂