A really wet year in 2014 proved that our current fertilization source --- composted horse manure
from a neighboring farm --- isn't sustainable. Yes, it's a waste
product at the source and makes our garden thrive, but if we can't get
the manure from point A to point B we're sunk. So one of my big goals
for 2015 was to to work on homegrown compost. To that end, I've been
gathering piles of weeds all summer, and now it's finally time to build a
I didn't take any photos
on day one, so just pretend what you see here is starting on the ground
instead of on the side of an already built compost pile. That said, the
first layer consists of partially composted summer weeds...
...onto which I sprinkled a thinner layer of bedding from the chicken coop to boost nitrogen levels...
...then I added a layer
of 2/3-composted weeds to inoculate microbes and other critters. After
many wheelbarrows of each ingredient and quite a few layers, I had a
huge pile of incipient fertility.
I wasn't done yet,
though. Since over half of the compostables had been under cover, the
pile needs a couple of rains before I'll cover it up and let it cook.
During that time, I'll also pour on as much urine as we can come up with
to help the compost heat up enough to kill weed seeds. I'm not counting
on that effect, but it sure would be nice. Finally, if I get cabin
fever in February, I may turn the edges into the center to ensure
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