MAKING COMPOST AT THE FARM
It’s compost making time at Peacefield Farm. This year I have a manure spreader to assist in the operation: I load the spreader with compost-ables (hay, manure, wood chips, garden waste, etc), then put the PTO in gear to run the spreader. The blades on the spreader flail the material out in a distinctive pattern behind the stationary spreader and make a pile about 6 – 8 feet wide at the base and about 5 ft high at the center. When the spreader is empty I move it forward 2 -3 feet and fill it again. What you see behind the spreader is called a compost windrow; its about 30 ft long at this stage in the process. The windrow on the right is finished and “working” right now.
My “livestock” then go to work consuming all the goodies in the pile. In the process they create heat – up to 140d F – that kills off any weed seed. Who are my “livestock”? Bacteria. Fungi. Nematodes. Worms. Other little creatures that like the food in the pile. I have billions of ’em!
Once the pile cools down a few degrees, I then turn the pile to start the process all over again.