On Top of the Heap

compost 2016

May 10, 2016

Yesterday, I finished applying the compost to my corn ground. This stuff was straw, manure, wood chips, manure, sawdust, manure, old hay and of course manure! It has been composting in my bunker since last October. It is awesome stuff with only an earthy smell of dirt…. well, okay, perhaps a hint of manure, but mostly dirt. It was in no way offensive to anyone’s nose.

This past fall we used wood chips for bedding. It proved to be a good addition. The small chips kept the pile open and airy longer. I didn’t see any “fire fang” or clumps of uncomposted hay from the absence of air. I also didn’t see many areas of compacted wet anaerobic places either. I was afraid the larger pieces wouldn’t compost well, but they did great and helped the whole pile to boot! I am sure the abundance of manure along with the diversity from several types of animals helps too.

No doubt, I will continue to use the wood chips in part of our bedding strategy along with traditional carbons sources like straw, sawdust, leaves and wasted hay. The wood chips are free. They are not real absorbent, but do work okay when used with one of the other products mentioned, especially straw. We add to the pile daily and I sort of turn it once a week with the skid steer when I push up the daily wheelbarrow loads.

Today, at 4:30 eastern standard time, our documentary from Rural Heritage magazine, airs on RFD-TV. It is weird to see your name in the TV guide! The show will replay on Saturday at 3:00 pm. Then next week , in the same time slots they will run a second episode. So, I guess like the wood chips… I am on top of the heap!

8 Comments so far
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I was told by farmers if the manure had wood chips that they wont take it because it’s no good for the soil. Something about acid. Not sure if it rings true but I am going to check it out.

Comment by sam

Sam, your comment is partially correct. Wood chips can have a “souring” effect when applied to soil. I compost mine with a large mixture of manure and other carbon sources. The finished compost actually helps buffer soil. BUT the only way to truly know what is going on is to soil test. We do that here as part of our manure management plan. It also tells us how our soils are balanced…or not. We can then add amendments to our best advantage. The rule is don’t guess, soil test. LOL

Comment by ricelandmeadows

That is some awesome dirt! I need some of that. I’m DVRing your show! It was cool to see your name on the guide!

Comment by Jacklyn

Thanks for your support Jacklyn!

Comment by ricelandmeadows

A nice documentary today. I will be sure to watch next week also. Congratulations on seeing your dreams come true.

Comment by Sere

Thank you!

Comment by ricelandmeadows

That is truly a lovely pile of you-know-what. I had a senior moment (oops, is that politically correct?) and totally missed your TV debut; thought about it at 7 pm, so I’ll try to catch it Sat.

Comment by Aunt June

I understand the “oops I forgot” thing. LOL Saturday at 3:00. Don’t forget, the next episode airs next week on Tuesday at 4:30 then again on Saturday….just in case you forget. LOL

Comment by ricelandmeadows

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