I have many many layers on my pile now. I have a local source for hay and I have been collecting lots of over grown green plants. I have been doing much of the yard maintenance just so that I can collect materials mainly flower heads, ferns, and ginger. I’m not using grass clipping from my yard because I don’t like what my parents use to maintain it, combination herbicide/chemical fertilizer. I live along the Mississippi River in Louisiana and the levee gets routinely cut producing more clippings than I will ever be able to collect and use.
I spoke with a local coffee shop owner and she has no problem with letting me have all the coffee grinds and tea leaves. All that I have to do is bring them a bucket and then exchange that bucket when it has been filled.
I have been exploring the wooded areas near my home. Trees that have been attacked by termites are full of moist saw dust. Often worms have moved in and broken it down even more. Sometimes it’s so dark and moist that I can make a ball out of it that holds shape extremely well. This is probably due to lots of worm castings. The dark stuff I use to amend my potting soil and the lighter stuff gets sprinkled on my compost as I add new layers.
My pile has been at 145 degrees F mostly. I added a lot more stuff and it cooled down. I was concerned that I might not have enough nitrogen in the pile so I watered it with rainwater mixed with some old fish emulsion fertilizer. It seems to me getting back to temp now.
I got a gig working for the New Orleans Jazz Fest as a foodprep and food booth server person. We had to cut up a TON of vegetables and although I didn’t get all of the veg scraps I did get enough to pack two 5 gallon buckets tight.
I also took 12 hardwood pallets that would have gotten trashed. I am going to use the wood to make my composting bins. I also found a source of ceder saw dust. I hope it isn’t too rot resistant being ceder. I am willing to bet it’s going to smell great.
I think it will be alright because the bottom line is that it’s a small particle wood that isn’t treated. It’s not like ceder trees don’t rot. After about a year of building the pile and a year of sitting everything should be premium. I hope that when I get my compost books in they will answer these questions.
I also gathered the dried leaves of some tree branches that I had to trim. I am going to ask around at the local supermarkets(other than walmart) and see if I could maybe get there aged and unsellable produce. I love gathering things for composting. It’s a Crap Recycler’s Christmas
I have started organic heirloom vegetable gardening in containers this year. The organic soil I get is 20 bucks a bag. I want to expand every year until I find the largest operation that I’m comfortable with. This means that I have to take my soil and amendments into my own hands as soon a possible. I also juice produce and currently do nothing with the pulp. Therefor, having my own compost would be a great way to harmonize many aspects of my life. The full circle understanding of gardening is of great value so I am going for an ALL IN approach. I ordered some books on composting, worms, and working with microbes. I have a lot to learn and a lot to gain.