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Compost ~ Answer Book Question

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Re: Compost ~ Answer Book Question

Post  GWN on 2/4/2013, 7:17 pm

BB\'s happy face Inquiring minds want to know if worm castings are considered manure..... study
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Re: Compost ~ Answer Book Question

Post  sfgteachers on 2/4/2013, 7:22 pm

Lol! Nice one
One reason we recommend different composts other than just manures is because we want to use the resources we have in our yards and kitchens ....leaves,grass,garden waste,etc. this not only cleans up but adds great nutrients and variety.
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Re: Compost ~ Answer Book Question

Post  llama momma on 2/4/2013, 7:28 pm

@GWN wrote: BB\'s happy face Inquiring minds want to know if worm castings are considered manure..... study

Since worm castings come from the anal end the answer is yes, but I think castings are a classier name!
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Re: Compost ~ Answer Book Question

Post  camprn on 2/4/2013, 7:44 pm

Donna, did you post the question to Mel on his blog?

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Re: Compost ~ Answer Book Question

Post  donnainzone5 on 2/4/2013, 7:45 pm

I did.
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Re: Compost ~ Answer Book Question

Post  llama momma on 2/4/2013, 7:51 pm

@FamilyGardening wrote:would it matter if its composted manure compared to plain maunure?
Composted manure is generally thought of as safer. Rabbit, alpaca, llama can be plain(think you mean fresh) and can be used without composting first. I compost llama manure for peace of mind

to me they are different composted manure is finished compost
I agree

fresh manure is well....fresh....

store bought bags of composted manure has other composting material in them.....

is Mel saying only 20% of YOUR OWN home compost should have fresh manure?
That is the recommendation, not the law. Here is some cool stuff I learned from the book, Teaming With Microbes: (in my own words)
The more greens you have the more good bacteria growth will occure. The more browns you have, the more good fungus growth you will have. So you want both kinds for a super duper healthy nutritious finished compost.


happy gardening
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Re: Compost ~ Answer Book Question

Post  llama momma on 2/4/2013, 7:59 pm

Be sure to see SFGF's Teacher Specialist answer at 7:22pm


Last edited by llama momma on 2/4/2013, 8:11 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Compost ~ Answer Book Question

Post  camprn on 2/4/2013, 8:06 pm

Going back to the Op question about bagged blended composts, one of the problems with those is that there is absolutely no telling how much of any one ingredient there is in the blend. There may be percentages listed on the bag, but because the bagged compost industry is not regulated you never really know what you're getting.

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http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books



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Re: Compost ~ Answer Book Question

Post  donnainzone5 on 2/4/2013, 8:27 pm

I did see, and respond, to Belinda's message.
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Re: Compost ~ Answer Book Question

Post  RoOsTeR on 2/4/2013, 8:42 pm

donnainzone10 wrote:I'm truly puzzled! Shocked

On page 112 of the new Answer Book, Mel states:

"I was once asked if a gardener could count sheep, chicken, barnyard pigs, steer, and cow manure as the five ingredients [of Mel's Mix], because that was five different animals. Noooo, that's five different manures and one of the five ingredients.... [A] bag labeled rose food could be a mixed-blend compost with worm castings."

He then suggests looking for bags listing multiple materials.

Although I agree that plant composts are valuable elements of MM, they are sometimes difficult to find (other than leaf compost, etc).

Comments?

Yeah, this thread did get pretty side tracked from the original question. And to be honest, I think Lavender Debs pretty much nailed it right away:

@Lavender Debs wrote:This dilemma (and the pollution from feed-lots) is why I grow my own. No matter how careful I am with my blend of 5, nothing ever does as well for me as the simplest of home grown compost. Any year that has me feeling aggressive enough to put in more than one new box (I can harvest about enough finished compost for one 4x4 box each year) has reinforced this for me.

donnainzone10 wrote:I think the difference is between compost ingredients and Mel's Mix ingredients. My original question was based upon the five+ composts that must go into Mel's Mix.

I have a good handle on compost ingredients.

Donnainzone10, you have a good handle on composting ingredients as you stated. I think the big problem is, and my understanding from you, is simply finding at least 5 good quality composts....and composts that aren't all manure, peat, and fillers. This is where I think Debs, and camp are right on. The problem is, they are hard to find and most times you never really know what's in them. Like Debs stated, her gardens do the best with her simple homegrown compost. The best thing you can do, is make your own compost so you don't have to go through all the hassles. You will also know you've got a well rounded, balanced compost.

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Re: Compost ~ Answer Book Question

Post  Kelejan on 2/4/2013, 8:48 pm

@llama momma wrote:. . .But after what I learned in class, revisiting my class notes, looking at what you have written, looking at the answer book page 112, and my ANSF book, I must stand by what I was taught in class. Despite others on this forum that insist five different animal manures can be a "complete" 1/3 part of Mel's Mix -- I disagree because that is not what is taught. . . . The whole biology of microbes works really well when there is a variety of ingredients.
I agree LLM.

In actual fact I doubt if anyone has the wherewithall to get a perfect compost mix and we have to make the best of what we can procure. So long as it is not less than 1/3 of Mel's Mix.
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Re: Compost ~ Answer Book Question

Post  llama momma on 2/4/2013, 9:04 pm

Thank you Kelejan. Many ways to make compost.
I didn't even consider bagged compost at all cause I never used it. It does seem to be the inferior way to go and has potential to be a huge gamble. Personally would not recommend the stuff and don't like to see anyone buy it. I would rather they learn to start a compost heap in year one then plant their first garden the following year.
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Re: Compost ~ Answer Book Question

Post  donnainzone5 on 2/4/2013, 9:19 pm

I agree that bagged compost can be a gamble. However, is there any excited newbie SFG enthusiast who can wait a year to plant?



When I begin teaching, I will certainly emphasize the importance of using only 20% (maximum) manure-based composts.
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Re: Compost ~ Answer Book Question

Post  llama momma on 2/4/2013, 9:30 pm

donnainzone10 wrote:I agree that bagged compost can be a gamble. However, is there any excited newbie SFG enthusiast who can wait a year to plant?
I know, I was one of those excited newbies and lucky to have some resources on hand. It is such an important topic yet only so much you can do about it. Mel says to start small. Pretty Good wisdom there.

When I begin teaching, I will certainly emphasize the importance of using only 20% (maximum) manure-based composts.
Please don't get me started again! lol
And You know, if they have the room they could also grow things outside of their sf boxes, like borage and vetch, which are fantastic ingredients for compost heaps.
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Re: Compost ~ Answer Book Question

Post  FamilyGardening on 2/4/2013, 9:54 pm

@GWN wrote: BB\'s happy face Inquiring minds want to know if worm castings are considered manure..... study

rofl
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Re: Compost ~ Answer Book Question

Post  bnoles on 2/4/2013, 10:01 pm

What a GREAT thread.... packed with valuable information for all.


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Re: Compost ~ Answer Book Question

Post  plantoid on 2/5/2013, 9:03 am

When I sat down and decided on my course of action I realized that the beddings used with the animals were the other parts of the equation . I also realized the open range grass fed animals gave a different measure of nutrients to that of grain fed , poultry on grain/ meal or fish based meals .
The range of beddings was wide enough ...paper straw, shavings , sawdust , hemp fibres and in big enough proportions once I added extra clean straw to them and included a bucket or two of veg waste off the gardens , I've also added torn paper /cardboard and things like stale flour old , out of date kibbled dog food & buckets of diluted human urine from yours truly plus the oddd sprinkle of fish , blood and bone meal ( to boost the start up of a heap )
Muck worms readily found their own way in from the big world into the compost bings and are loving it better than a Mac Donalds .. they have bred all year round so far and have worked they way through the bins several times so my compost mnow also contain that valuable comodity of worm liquids and casts.

Now that the first year of total MM in all the beds has past I make this observation .
If anything my compost element is a bit too rich in nutrients they produced masses of top growth ( brilliant fot my big runner beans and the courgettes ) ..
This was accerbated by ideal rain and cool brassica weather conditions . For this reason , this year I'll be " diluting " the composts I made over last year by adding some extra composted coir , at the rate of four buckets of compost and two bucket of coir for replenishing the nutrients in the beds after harvesting a crop.

I might just run a soil test on a random sample of my composts just to see what it really contains , though I reckon it will be variable over all seven compost bins to some extent .
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Re: Compost ~ Answer Book Question

Post  llama momma on 2/5/2013, 9:29 am

Diluting your compost should? create more volume without sacrificing quality. That's pretty nice considering everything you grow and need to replenish.
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Re: Compost ~ Answer Book Question

Post  plantoid on 2/5/2013, 9:36 am

That's the idea Lama Momma
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Re: Compost ~ Answer Book Question

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 2/5/2013, 11:10 am

You know you're an out-of-control composter when you find yourself at the kitchen sink..... with paper plates in the sink soaking so you can tear them up and put them in your compost heap!!!!

Just sayin'
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Re: Compost ~ Answer Book Question

Post  Goosegirl on 2/5/2013, 11:57 am

@audrey.jeanne.roberts wrote:You know you're an out-of-control composter when you find yourself at the kitchen sink..... with paper plates in the sink soaking so you can tear them up and put them in your compost heap!!!!

Just sayin'
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rofl
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Re: Compost ~ Answer Book Question

Post  treefrog62 on 2/5/2013, 2:34 pm

lol! Yes! Just this morning I tore up a paper towel I had used for drying my hands.
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Re: Compost ~ Answer Book Question

Post  CapeCoddess on 2/5/2013, 4:57 pm

I don't use many but when I do, I throw well used paper towels in whole. Never thought about tearing them up. It seems to be OK whole.

CC
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Re: Compost ~ Answer Book Question

Post  GWN on 2/6/2013, 10:32 am

OH and the paper bags that mushrooms come in...
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Re: Compost ~ Answer Book Question

Post  CindiLou on 2/6/2013, 6:50 pm

@audrey.jeanne.roberts wrote:You know you're an out-of-control composter when you find yourself at the kitchen sink..... with paper plates in the sink soaking so you can tear them up and put them in your compost heap!!!!

Just sayin'
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scrap crockpot in kitchen..put in the tea bags, then the paper towel--put in the potato peelings, then the paper towel...

rofl I think I am composting in my kitchen scrap collector!
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