September 1st, 2017
Today we made 4 piles of compostable layers of chipped straw, freshly mowed grass and Bunny Brew/poop and hay. Some beds have old bunny pee newspapers, some have crushed egg shells, and some have a bucket of chicken poop and saw dust from their cleaned out pen. I plan to turn the piles every 2 or 3 day (I have a schedule worked out that fits my work schedule and when I am home and able to turn the piles.
Over the month of turning the piles I saw so many changes to it. I was amazed at how quickly the green grass clippings turn black and white fungus (Actinomycetes - fungus like bacterium that act like a decomposer that break down plant matter) became apparent. I could see differences in piles and how quickly they broke down depending on their moisture levels and the ratio from nitrogen matter (green/live matter) and the carbon matter (brown/dead matter). I felt that one bed that had the majority of my egg shells broke down very quickly compared to the others, but really can't claim that for sure, because there are so many other factors that could have cause it. Maybe that beds moisture level was more or the green/brown ratios were better than the others, but having said that, I felt I had most things as equal as possible and that bed just broke down better.
I noticed the one bed that I only "pulled weeds" and threw them in the pile "whole", sort of speak, did not break down as well. I feel the smaller parts of everything you put in the better. Like the concept of how lots of small ice chucks will melt quicker than one giant cube. So in my opinion, it's worth the effort of mulching, chipping and mowing over things to start off with everything small.
At the end of the 20 days, I had good looking compost. I could have let it go for another week for great looking compost, but I had garlic that needed to get in the ground and I quickly scooped up all the compost and added to the beds I needed for my Fall garlic planting. I look forward to 2018 season of making compost during the hot months of summer. Considering that these piles were made in September and the cooler nights we had, it all did very well.
Our goal...make dirt...and let our dirt grow our vegetables!
Here is a little documentary on compost