Cricket Song Farm

Cricket Song Farm

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


One morning, several years ago, I received a frantic call from my daughter (Darlin' Dodie) who had recently left home for college.  "Mom,"...... I could tell something was terribly wrong.  She was almost in tears.  I took a deep breath to steady myself and asked what was wrong .

"I had to throw away the peelings from my cantaloupe,  IN THE GARBAGE"!  Whew, nothing to major........ I guess.  I laughed with relief.  She continued. " I fill so guilty, I couldn't take them out to the chickens or to the compost pile.  I just needed to call you."  Guess I did one thing right in raising her!

                                                                           I think
wouldn't that be wonderful!
Everyone sitting around at their dinner parties....talking compost....taking the vegetables peelings and left-overs home in little pails to add to the compost pile.

A compost pile can be started just about anywhere.  Over the years we have used many methods. 
A pile close to the back door for easy access from the kitchen.

Never did have one of those fancy drum composters, I just needed
 to much compost to use one of them. 
You can purchase enclosed, large black box composters with a removable
 front for easy access.  They look nice and will provide you with a
 continual small amount of compost
 if you have several of them.
For several years I used a 3 bin method utilizing 7 old wood pallets.

Place the pallets in a 3 sided  square and fasten together. 
 Add two more pallets to the side and rear of the square 
 making another 3 sided square, continue until you have 3 open ended bins.
Fill the first pallet with a few large sticks
 on the bottom to allow air flow underneath the heap.
Pile a ratio of 2-3 times the amount of dry materials to 1 times the amount of green. 
 Sprinkle finished compost over top and cover with soil.  Dampen with water and keep damp to allow the bacteria to do their work.  Make several layers  alternating browns, greens, a sprinkle of ready compost, and soil. 
Add water with every layer.   Keep the pile moist but not wet, and let cook for several weeks.
Now, to turn the pile, begin shoveling the top of the pile into the next bin.  This process will rotate the ingredients, burying the less composted ingredients to the bottom of the pile and the more composted ingredients to the top of the pile.
Start a new pile in the first bin.
Keep moist and let cook for a couple of weeks.
Turn both piles into the next bins and start a new pile.  Now you have 3 working piles.  Let cook again and in a few weeks rotate the finished compost into the garden, shovel the compost over to the next bins and start another pile.
I used the pallet method until I got these big heavy black pipes 

You can see by this picture the pipe collects warm air and stores it in the ridges  which allows the heap to heat up quick.  A window placed over the top also draws in extra heat (leave an opening for good air flow).  The bottom is open so when the compost is done (in about 2-3 weeks time)  simply lift off the pipe and start a new pile.  If the ingredients haven't broken down I move the pipe over and re shovel the ingredients into the pipe and let it cook a little longer.  This pipe allow for quick processing of the compost  start to finish. 
NOTE:  I use well aged and composted manure from the goats, lots of green weeds, top soil, and hay stems my spoiled dairy goats refuse to eat, in this quick method.
It's easy to move these bins to a new spot where I have large quantities of items to compost.  Simply tip them over and roll it where you need it.
I have seen a few fancy kitchen counter composters, but haven't tried any of them, are they even worth the bother?  Let us know.

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