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Moving compost pile

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Moving compost pile

Post  jimmy cee on 6/26/2014, 11:15 pm

 
I just today finished up emptying 1 of my compost piles, after screening it sure was nice. From last fall I think I now have enough to last the remainder of this year.
The pile I am moving was started in early winter and may be partially complete.

Before I started moving from a packed bin of everything under the sun, including fresh cow, horse manure and loads of discarded veggies, 300lbs of coffee grinds, heck I may even have the kitchen sink in there.
Thought I'd see what you are thinking I should be doing., once finished moving this pile will sit and not be disturbed.
The above empty area is to be filled with material from the bottom image

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Re: Moving compost pile

Post  Marc Iverson on 6/27/2014, 12:07 am

I think you should be picking whatever's growing in the second pile! Very Happy

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Re: Moving compost pile

Post  jimmy cee on 6/27/2014, 9:12 am

Marc
That may be a good idea, if your meaning remove what's finished.
I also have about 10 bags of leaves left from last fall to add, sorry to say my supply of discarded veggies from my local grocery store has ceased.
I'll need to make another cubicle just for finished compost...

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Re: Moving compost pile

Post  donnainzone5 on 6/27/2014, 10:57 am

What?!?  They cut you off?  What excuse did they give?

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Re: Moving compost pile

Post  Kelejan on 6/27/2014, 1:35 pm

Yesterday I finished screening the contents of my rolling-bin and my square black container that you fill from the top and take from a door near the ground. 
The rolling bin produced lovely black stuff that was easy to screen and I have stashed that in black garbage bags for topping up my beds. Some worms there were transferred for later homing in one of my Wiggler Hiltons.
The square black container was quite an education of the best habitat for worms. 
The upper third was teeming with them and the compost was moist and easy to screen. Those worms also transferred to a temporary home. I cleared the material from the top of the container, and as I worked down I continued to get beautiful compost full of worm castings.  All that I stored in green garbage bags. Then lower still I noticed that the compost was not completely finished and lower down still, it seemed to be just leaf mold.  That portion is stored in orange bags. The bottom contained many sticks and leaves that obviously weren't even beginning to compost. That lot I put on my developing BTE garden portion ready to be covered with wood chips.
I still have one 4x4x2 box to sort out.  It is lovely not to have to rely any more on store-purchased bags as I know what is in my compost. It has taken me about four years to get to this position of self-suficentiency and for that I am very happy. 
Incidently, the worms survived very well during the winter in all three kinds of containers in spite of appearing to be frozen solid. There was enough biomass for the worms to migrate to in the centre and in the spring to go out and multiply.

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Re: Moving compost pile

Post  sanderson on 6/27/2014, 2:52 pm

Kelejan, Thank you for sharing.

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Re: Moving compost pile

Post  jimmy cee on 6/27/2014, 8:40 pm

donnainzone10 wrote:What?!?  They cut you off?  What excuse did they give?
The one fellow who was going the extra mile for me lost his license and worked there till he got it back.
The produce mgr is a sourpuss who uses all kinds of excuses not to accommodate me with the discarded material.
I could go to the owner as I know who he is and my son went to school with him, however, the sourpuss needs his job, he is the mgr, so I'll leave it at that.
I go in every once and a while and smile, good day, maybe some sweetness will come out of it, I'll not hold my breath.
That fella who was providing me the goodies was a gem, smiling all the time, just a robust guy and I was happy to see him get back to his profession.

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Re: Moving compost pile

Post  Marc Iverson on 6/27/2014, 8:47 pm

That's a bummer that you lost that source. Do you think you might be able to find somewhere else to ask them to do the same thing?


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Re: Moving compost pile

Post  jimmy cee on 6/27/2014, 8:48 pm

@Kelejan wrote:Yesterday I finished screening the contents of my rolling-bin and my square black container that you fill from the top and take from a door near the ground. 
The rolling bin produced lovely black stuff that was easy to screen and I have stashed that in black garbage bags for topping up my beds. Some worms there were transferred for later homing in one of my Wiggler Hiltons.
The square black container was quite an education of the best habitat for worms. 
The upper third was teeming with them and the compost was moist and easy to screen. Those worms also transferred to a temporary home. I cleared the material from the top of the container, and as I worked down I continued to get beautiful compost full of worm castings.  All that I stored in green garbage bags. Then lower still I noticed that the compost was not completely finished and lower down still, it seemed to be just leaf mold.  That portion is stored in orange bags. The bottom contained many sticks and leaves that obviously weren't even beginning to compost. That lot I put on my developing BTE garden portion ready to be covered with wood chips.
I still have one 4x4x2 box to sort out.  It is lovely not to have to rely any more on store-purchased bags as I know what is in my compost. It has taken me about four years to get to this position of self-suficentiency and for that I am very happy. 
Incidently, the worms survived very well during the winter in all three kinds of containers in spite of appearing to be frozen solid. There was enough biomass for the worms to migrate to in the centre and in the spring to go out and multiply.
 kelejan
isnt it great doing your own compost ? I love it, the work, satisfaction and all that comes with it.
Even my tumbler did wonderful this past winter and spring, it did turn out to be a clump, however it was full of worms and with more browns that I should have added (knowingly) it would have been great..
A tip for those with tumblers, put in more browns than you think !!

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Re: Moving compost pile

Post  jimmy cee on 6/27/2014, 8:52 pm

@Marc Iverson wrote:That's a bummer that you lost that source.  Do you think you might be able to find somewhere else to ask them to do the same thing?

I've been looking, a few other markets have contracts for their discarded produce, pig farms especially.
I'll be happy with my horse,and cow manure now with what else I can gather up.  Right now I have enough for 2 years, also our local recycle center offers some great stuff in the spring.
I picked up 24 five gallon buckets this year and last...a small amount of add ons and it does fantastic.

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Re: Moving compost pile

Post  sanderson on 6/28/2014, 2:10 am

Jimmy, How did you preserve 24 buckets of produce through out the year until it was time to build a pile?  Or do you just add to a pile until it's large enough and then start another?  I picked up over three 5-gallon buckets of produce tonight from the Farmer's Market.  I hope to get some horse manure tomorrow so I can build my 4th compost pile.  Composting is addictive.   Shocked

Just looked at your photo again. It looks like you build a pile until full and then start on another.


Last edited by sanderson on 6/28/2014, 2:12 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Add)

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Re: Moving compost pile

Post  jimmy cee on 6/28/2014, 5:41 pm

Sanderson
The 24 buckets was the compost I picked up at the recycle center, I just covered it till I screened it.
Now that discarded produce...wowwwww, was that ever a delight.
I would pick up 3-4 boxes twice a week, everything imaginable.
I chopped it all with a sharpened ice scraper, added it as I got it. thats what is in the pile I am moving.
All that + horse and cow manure......also about 500 lbs of starbucks coffee grinds.
Yep, composting is quite addictive, at first I was becoming to engrossed with all the formulas, do things right, layer, etc etc. I gave up on it, now I just try to add what I can when it suits me, I turn it when I can, poke a little, water and let nature do the rest.

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Re: Moving compost pile

Post  jimmy cee on 6/28/2014, 5:43 pm

@jimmy cee wrote:Sanderson
The 24 buckets was the compost I picked up at the recycle center, I just covered it till I screened it.
Now that discarded produce...wowwwww, was that ever a delight.
I would pick up 3-4 boxes twice a week, everything imaginable.
This went on for about 6-7 months. All that fizzled down to what you see.
I chopped it all with a sharpened ice scraper, added it as I got it. thats what is in the pile I am moving.
All that + horse and cow manure......also about 500 lbs of starbucks coffee grinds.
Yep, composting is quite addictive, at first I was becoming to engrossed with all the formulas, do things right, layer, etc etc. I gave up on it, now I just try to add what I can when it suits me, I turn it when I can, poke a little, water and let nature do the rest.

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Re: Moving compost pile

Post  Kelejan on 6/28/2014, 6:30 pm

@jimmy cee wrote:Sanderson

---------
Yep, composting is quite addictive, at first I was becoming to engrossed with all the formulas, do things right, layer, etc etc. I gave up on it, now I just try to add what I can when it suits me, I turn it when I can, poke a little, water and let nature do the rest.
You are preaching to the choir, Jimmy. Once you get those wonderful results you are hooked for life.  I am glad that you are no longer too obsessive and getting a bit more laid back about the process. I have learned to take what comes and do what I can and be happy about it. After all, Mother Nature does exactly the same thing, but I feel we can help her along a little if we can add things that are not avaialble to her at the time.

This morning I was able to cut down a pile of comfrey leaves and stalks,  and although it is pouring with rain right now, I am going to sit under my car porch and cut them down so that I maybe make comfrey tea with them or use them as a mulch. The wonderful thing about getting them is that they are about two minutes walk down the road and there is this comfrey growing is on city property. There are about six to seven enormous plants and I have collected about half a plant so far that took up all the room in my shopping trolley.
I only learned about comfrey a few weeks ago on this forum and these plants have been there for several years.

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Re: Moving compost pile

Post  CapeCoddess on 6/28/2014, 7:00 pm

Jimmy, try camps and restaurants. The guy next door to me works at a summer camp and he brings me home all his peelings and leftover/excess fruits and veggies daily. Today I got four bucket loads. Kelejan, thank you for mentioning the comfrey. Mine is growing right next to my compost pile and I keep forgetting that I can use it for more than just a healing herb.

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Re: Moving compost pile

Post  jimmy cee on 6/28/2014, 8:45 pm

Comfrey sounds interesting, I may have it growing all over here

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Re: Moving compost pile

Post  Marc Iverson on 6/28/2014, 10:36 pm

How nice to have comfrey nearby!

I just have a single leaf planted in a small pot that I've been growing for months. It hasn't done anything, but it hasn't died either. Now that the weather is warmer, I've put it out back in a shady spot, and it seems to look a little better. If it survives, I'll plant bits and pieces of it out back in the wild part of the hills behind us so as to get a regular supply.

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Re: Moving compost pile

Post  Kelejan on 6/29/2014, 2:21 am

Marc, these comfrey bushes are now about as tall as me, five feet and very large and impressive. For some strange reason they are all in a line as though they were deliberately planted that way. About five years ago that portion of the roadside was dug up and lines of some kind buried and some telephone poles lay there for a couple of years and perhaps the seed were sown then?   I started noticing these plants and wondered what they were.  The last two years they started being very noticeble then as I said someone mentioned comfrey for medicine, mulching and compost heaps, I looked in the Internet for a picture and recognized them at once. I wear gloves when handling them.
Incidently, when the sun was shining hot a couple of days ago, the comfrey was flowering and the bees were really buzzing around. That is why I will not strip the comfrey too much. Gotta leave something for the little guys that is not pesticide sprayed.

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Re: Moving compost pile

Post  sanderson on 6/29/2014, 1:34 pm

I picked up 50 gallons of culls from the Farmer's Markets Friday night and Saturday morning. The great thing about FM produce when the weather is hot, is that it is picked ripe and starts breaking down and fermenting in the buckets within hours. I start off chopping and end up squishing as I'm getting it ready for the new compost pile to be built today. I have a box of bruised peaches that I may use to make some jam.

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Re: Moving compost pile

Post  Marc Iverson on 6/29/2014, 3:09 pm

Kelejan, I had no idea they get that high. I got my leaf from a long-overgrown bed in a neglected school garden, and it was about a foot and a half high. Well, good news then -- more comfrey, if my terrible soil around here allows it.

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