The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Compost comparison

compost comparison

Each of these piles represents a truckload of compost from different sources.

The one on the bottom comes from a warehouse where they keep it out of the rain as opposed to the top one which was heavy with moisture.

Even though Lucy's pile cost just over twice as much as the other I think it's going to be our preferred location for tomorrow's load.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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I can't help but think you would get more for your money if you were to purchase the top pile instead of the bottom pile because the top pile should be more dense thus giving you more mulch for a certain amount of volume. Where the bottom pile would have more space or air pockets between the chips thus making it lighter and fluffier. I also realize trying to break up the clumps is more difficult then just spreading the other mulch, but the top pile could be composted more.
Comment by zimmy Tue Mar 30 11:27:26 2010

You would be right if we bought the compost by volume the way we did when buying mulch, but the compost places were selling by weight. It's hard to see from the photos, but the pile on the bottom is nearly twice the volume of the pile on the top since water made up a lot of the weight of the pile on the top.

I've yet to see the compost in person --- the creek's up and I was too wimpy to wade thigh-deep in cold water to see it. :-) But Mark tells me the pile on the bottom is much better composted --- which is good because we plan to use it straight in the garden rather than mulching with it. He also says that the pile on the bottom smells better, which is probably the best sign! We'll see what I think when the creek goes down...

Comment by anna Tue Mar 30 11:36:29 2010

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