Sunday, November 14, 2010

black gold - at least the start of it

what you see here, is the makings of the best stuff on earth - or i should say from earth.

well, i decided i have to completely re-rig my compost system.

it turns out this 2 bin system, just didnt have the capacity for the yard waste i was able to generate in a year. this came apparent late in 2009, when i was cleaning out my garden beds. so, that fall - i ripped out the bins (which are real cool and made from recycled plastic - i bought it about 10 years ago at my last house).

so i did the pile thing and didnt shred the garden waste last year; i just kinda chopped it up and let nature takes its course.

i dont have the time to manage the compost pile, so it never warmed up too much. i added dr earth compost builder - and it didnt do much, but relieve my wallet of $10. as fall kicked it and temps cooled, i will be building a new series of bins.

i have been noodling on it awhile and after referencing an online guide:

and farmer freds blog and radio show,

it looks like i will have a 4 or 5 bin system. at this point, i am planning each bin being 4x4 in size, possibly 5x5 depending upon a few factors i am still working on. that would mean a series of bins 20-25 feet long. a monstrosity, for sure, but with some careful landscape planning and i believe i will be able to mask the bins.
this may be overkill, but with a low compost management time, i would bet 4- 5 years should be sufficient to generate compost the slow way. so the way it will work, will be thus - bin 1 will receive all green and brown for 2010. that pile will move to bin 2, in 2011. bin 1, will then take 2011 stuff. each year, the piles will move up 1 bin, and by the time a pile finishes up in bin 5, it should be black gold.

good compost, like fine wine, cant be rushed, and given more and more trees getting larger and generating more leaves, every year- size will matter for my composting. so to make room for the new bins, i had to haul out all of last years compost pile and while i was at it, i figured it would shoot it thru the shreader this year. and the pile you see here is only the pile from last years goodies. shreding of this years garden commences this week.

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