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My Compost Pile

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Re: My Compost Pile

Post  llama momma on 10/29/2011, 7:19 am

I have skunks and raccoons. Compost heap has 3 wooden pallet sides and a wire front. It has existed for 2 years right next to a shed. The shed has had a skunk family living underneath. Have never seen the compost disturbed. I think the manure takes care of any worries.

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Re: My Compost Pile

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 10/29/2011, 8:17 am

I thought manure would take care of any potential animal problem.

I have a source of horse manure lined up through craigslist. I'm going to pick some up on Monday, and on the way I'm going to drive right past those Amish people that sell rabbits. Hopefully I'll be able to score some rabbit poop too.

My car's gonna smell a bit. affraid

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Re: My Compost Pile

Post  llama momma on 10/29/2011, 8:28 am

Hoooweee, roll down those windows! Very Happy

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Re: My Compost Pile

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 10/29/2011, 8:35 am

Hey llamamomma, seeing your name and avatar made me realize that there's an alpaca farm maybe 20 minutes from my house. Hopefully I can score some alpaca poop too!

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Re: My Compost Pile

Post  llama momma on 10/29/2011, 8:47 am

Glad I could jog your mind a bit! Llamas and alpaca's are cousins and both are in the camelid family with camels too. The manure does not burn! They are highly efficient converters of feed which = low carbs in the poo which = no burning of plants. The stuff is prized right up there with bat guano. You can read all about it online. I use it in the compost, and use llama tea for the plants. People pay obscene amounts to buy the stuff online. Hope you score big!

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Re: My Compost Pile

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 10/29/2011, 8:54 am

So I was right......llamas and alpacas are related. Thanks for educating me llama momma! And by the way, a few minutes ago, I found a llama farm that's about 40 minutes from me. I sent them an email asking if I can get some of their poop.

It's too bad I'm in the middle of what could be a big snow storm. Otherwise, I'd run around and get some of this poop.

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Re: My Compost Pile

Post  llama momma on 10/29/2011, 9:13 am

I know about the big storm heading your way. Best wishes with all of that! Don't worry about the manure. When you are ready the critters will not fail to deliver Very Happy I have friends that bring garbage pails and fill them up to take back home. Don't be surprised if the owners just ask you to shovel your own. PS, a tad more about alpacas, they are the smaller cousins to llamas. Llamas are much bigger and typically far more calmer disposition therefore have many uses. Alpacas tend to have a higher grade of fiber though, and tend to be quite skittish.

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Re: My Compost Pile

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 10/29/2011, 9:54 am

It rained most of the night and then around 8:30 this morning, it started to snow. I ran to the bank and post office and I'm just gonna be lazy today.

I certainly wouldn't mind shoveling the poop myself. It might be a good idea to wear rubber boots to do it. Laughing

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Re: My Compost Pile

Post  llama momma on 10/29/2011, 10:06 am

The manure has no splatter-factor, like cow and horse manure, etc. Healthy llama and alpaca manure is nearly dry and it forms into little black bean shapes. I use old tennis shoes that is for the garden or the barn so you don't really need boots unless its a personal choice and/or you are shoveling outside in a muddy area.

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Re: My Compost Pile

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 10/29/2011, 10:14 am

Sounds like it's kind of like rabbit poop.

I'll probably take my rubber boots just in case it's a bit muddy.

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Re: My Compost Pile

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 11/2/2011, 6:52 pm

Well I got my compost bin together. It's made from fence posts and 1" x 2" hardware cloth(??) It's 4ft x 4ft x 4ft. It's not the prettiest bin....I had a heck of a time getting the posts hammered into the ground and the sides bow out somewhat. Oh well it's functional.

I went out to my back yard tonight and was floored when I saw steam coming from the compost bin! Wow I thought until my Mom came out and said that it's the dryer vent that's putting off that steam.

lol!

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Re: My Compost Pile

Post  llama momma on 11/2/2011, 8:06 pm

Hah! Mine isn't pretty either, just 3 sides of wooden pallets and used a bungee cord to hold chicken wire on the front. The pallets are held in place with U-posts placed inside the pallets and pounded into the ground. I lined the inside with ch. wire since the slats were pretty wide, great for aeration but stuff would've fallen out. Made 3 bins. First one gets everything thrown in. The second one receives the first bin's turned over contents. It'll get thrown between bin 1 and 2 a few times. The third is to finish it off and use in the squares, or fill containers for later use. Turning over all that stuff is a workout for this mid 50-ish, height challenged squirt like me, but its all good. And for a lady I do feel a bit mighty swinging that pitchfork around, hah!

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Re: My Compost Pile

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 11/2/2011, 8:45 pm

@llama momma wrote:Turning over all that stuff is a workout for this mid 50-ish, height challenged squirt like me, but its all good.

That's the funniest thing I've read all day!

Now that I think about it, I'm actually proud of the fact that I put this bin together without too much trouble. It's not what I pictured in my mind but hey....it works.

Right now it's open at the front. I want to figure out a way to rig up some removable front so that I can turn the pile. Now it's not bad at all but once I add those manures I'm getting, a bale or two of straw/hay from the autumn display at the front of my house, plus miscellaneous stuff, the pile's going to spill out of the front.

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Re: My Compost Pile

Post  llama momma on 11/2/2011, 10:12 pm

Made you smile eh? Thats cool. Hey if you have any hardware cloth left over you could make that your front door. Simply tie it on with some rope perhaps. Although I've become a huge fan of bungee cords. So simple to slip on and off.
You mentioned pounding the posts, oh yeah that was the hardest part of all. I had five foot posts so the top came up to my eyeballs. Couldn't get good leverage to swing the big heavy mallet thing. Back to the garage to get the step stool. I thought I was wacking the devil out of the post, forehead sweating, look down after 15 hard swings and it sunk about 3/4 inch, what the heck? Great only 6 more inches to go. My hero showed up, and the dear hubby pounded the other 2 posts in about 3 minutes flat, no sweat. silly me

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Re: My Compost Pile

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 11/2/2011, 10:23 pm

Actually I do have hardware cloth left over. I'm not sure it'll be enough to go from one side to the other. I got 16 ft of the hardware cloth at the feed store(it was cool that they actually sold that by the foot!) and cut 3 4ft sections from that. Well to make sure that each section of hardware cloth was exactly 4 feet, I had to cut the wire in such a way that I had to sacrifice 3 inches off that 4th section.....which I really wasn't planning on using because I thought I would have to build some sort of removable front. Know what I mean? Anyway, I still have that 3 ft 9 inch piece that I just might be able to rig up some sort of front "door". If it doesn't work, I'll be able to use that as a trellis for peas or something.

Thanks for the info llama momma!

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Re: My Compost Pile

Post  llama momma on 11/3/2011, 5:28 pm

Your welcome Too Tall Tomatoes !

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Re: My Compost Pile

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 11/5/2011, 11:00 am

I finally picked up a load of horse manure from that woman I found on craigslist. I got two 5 gallon buckets and I'm thinking that maybe I should get more......10 gallons just doesn't look like much especially since there's straw mixed in.

cheers

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Re: My Compost Pile

Post  Kelejan on 11/5/2011, 11:04 am

Go for it, TTT, you can never have enough.

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Re: My Compost Pile

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 11/5/2011, 11:25 am

I'll probably head down there later next week. It's a hour round trip which isn't bad and it takes less than 5 minutes to scoop the poop

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Re: My Compost Pile

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 11/5/2011, 12:05 pm

I put those two buckets in the compost bin and I definitely need more horse manure.

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Re: My Compost Pile

Post  llama momma on 11/5/2011, 7:11 pm

This evening I was turning over my compost heap and was happy to see for the first time what others have described. Steam Very Happy At first I thought it was moldy dusty gook but then I could feel the heat when I got a little closer. It was 29 degrees this morning and 53 this afternoon. The compost size of 4ft by 4ft did the trick. Ok that's my newbie (one full year) sfg excitement for today!

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Re: My Compost Pile

Post  Cincinnati on 11/6/2011, 12:05 am

Congratulations! At 29F outside, by getting your pile to heat up,You're a "Compositin' Mama Llama". You are obviously doing several things correctly.

BTW, does your username mean you raise Llamas? If so,I'll bet Llama poop is great for the compost pile.

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Re: My Compost Pile

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 11/6/2011, 12:14 am

That's awesome. Right now my pile is stuck at 60 degrees. It's been that for several days (I haven't tended it as much as I usually do) now but I did just add 10 gallons of horse manure and alot of yard trimmings today so that should heat up soon. The outside temp ranges anywhere between 30 and 60 degrees here.

With the compost pile finally being put in a bin, it's going to make it so much easier to turn....no more stuff falling off the pile.

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Re: My Compost Pile

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 11/6/2011, 12:21 am



Here's my compost bin. Notice the fine quality construction.

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Re: My Compost Pile

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 11/6/2011, 12:28 am

Looks exactly like my grandfather's. He worked that thing for years. It was just fine. Yours will be, too. Mine, however, has nothing to hold it....still just a pile....in every sense.

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Re: My Compost Pile

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