Calling all Composters! - Update

Sep 07 2011 Published by under Uncategorized

First and foremost, I'd like to thank, really and truly thank, everyone who contributed to this discussion.  I was floored by all the wisdom and and excellent suggestions.  I have read my fair share of gardening books, but nothing compares to first hand experience from folks who have done it themselves.  This type of information is gold, and I'll be acting on it.

Second, I've gone back and sifted through the comments and suggestions and now have a pretty good feeling for what I think will work at SSA.   I'm going to follow the cold composting route with a twist.  I think cold composting will work best for me mostly because I believe it will be the lowest maintenance in the long run.  I will use that to break down chicken bedding, lawn clippings, and yard waste - all that big, gnarly stuff that needs time.  The twist is starting up a worm bin.  I'd like to keep worms because I'm a sucker for new pets and I'd like them to break down all the yummy kitchen waste the chickens don't get.  Plus, they can give me a quick pop of plant food while I'm waiting for the slower compost to mature.

I have some old wrought iron fence panels that I'd like to recycle to make my compost bins.  I see it being built as a simple, two-bay system.  The bays would each be about four feet wide, five feet long, and three feet high, with three sides.  This will make it extremely easy to shovel layers of material onto the pile, and hopefully give me plenty of space to accumulate material and mix it when I need to.  When one pile is full, I'll let it mature and move on to the next bay.  I am also extremely intrigued by D.C. Session from Scientopia's idea of planting on top of the pile, now turning it in to added food space.  Once I start the project, I'll be sure to document it for everyone so we can see how it is coming along.

Second are the worms.  I'd like to build a little worm hotel, but I'll need to look up some plans.  If anyone has ever done it, please let me know what you found successful.  I have heard you can keep them inside, I'd like to keep mine under my kitchen sink, so they are temperature controlled, sheltered and easily accessed.  I definitely need to put more though into it, so I'll keep everyone updated.

Again, thanks Friends.  I'm looking forward to this project, and it was made even better by the fact that it was a group effort.  I'll keep you (com)posted!

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