Fast forward a few years and our composting program has evolved quite a bit along with our understanding of it. Our carbon source comes from the trees we have had to remove to build roads and level pads. Anything that isn’t good for firewood or fence posts is run through a Vermeer chipper shredder.
Next, we haul in our steer manure by the truck load and mix together in just the right ratio to cover our nitrogen needs. This also solves an age-old agriculture problem of excess manure. We put every ounce back to soil building.
Then we water and turn it daily for the first 30 days to keep the temperature under 160 degrees. 30 to 60 days we turn less frequently as it will maintain 140-150 degrees without overheating on its own.
We typically process 70 to 80 yards at a time now. Temperature and soil test tell us when it is finished. Available nutrients are off the measurable chart so our finished product can be mixed 3 to 1 with any good dirt or topsoil and still test better than what we can buy from any store.
Here is a truck load headed to a neighbor’s garden last spring.
Here is a 3-day bounty from another neighbor’s garden using our compost recipe.
We had been fortunate enough to borrow several pieces of equipment from a good friend of ours that owns an excavation company on different projects. It became clear that a dump truck and a large rock screen needed to be on the “must have” list as the size and scope of our plans kept getting larger.