Thursday, March 1, 2012

Starting our First Compost Pile

On Tuesday, we picked up our first load of vegetable waste from the Food Depot.  

Mishra has been bringing coffee grounds from Ohori's Coffee for the past two weeks. so we had some 1,500lbs of coffee grounds waiting to be composted.

First, we built a 3 foot high "mattress" with branches. The mattress allows for air flow underneath the pile.

The matress is then covered with straw.  Our initial compost pile is 10 feet wide by 20 feet long.  We will be building 3 or 4 piles that size.

Ellen (from Real Food Nation farm) and John putting the coffee grounds (nitrogen) on top of the straw.

Next are the vegetables (nitrogen) and cardboard (carbon)

and some horse manure (mostly carbon) as frosting...

Some good soil (for micro organisms) is sprinkled over the compost material and the pile is then watered.

More layers will be added to the pile each week as we receive more material.  The piles will be built to a height of 6-8 feet and then will be left to "cook".  Temperature (if the composting is working right!) will quickly rise to 140-160 degrees.  Once the pile cools down to 75 degrees, worms will be introduced to finish the compost.  Within 4-6 months, we should have some beautiful soil.


Don't miss the fun on Sunday March 4th from 1:00-4:00pm for our next Farm Day!

As always, wear appropriate clothing, bring gloves as well as sunglasses (the wind has been kicking off dust).

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