February 2023 Newsletter
Compost Mix Parameters and Troubleshooting
By Peter Moon
In 2010, I met Mr. Tom Moreau at the US Composting Council Conference in Austin, Texas. At that time, Tom* was the Director of Chittenden County’s Green Mountain Compost facility in Vermont and after attending my all-day workshop on Aerated Static Pile Composting, he asked me to help them design the aeration system for their new compost building. Over the next several weeks, we worked together to determine the size and number of compost bays and O2Compost provided the aeration system design according to their specifications.
About a year and a half later, I received a call from Tom and without preamble, he said, “Peter, your aeration system DOES NOT WORK! Needless to say, I was a bit taken aback.
Read the full article on our Blog.
RULE 11- Always Strive to Improve Product Quality
One of the primary objectives with running a compost facility is to operate it efficiently to reduce both the time and expense of processing a finished product. It is generally agreed that every compost system is unique in how it operates and that the method of operation will evolve over time.
To this end, striving to improve your product quality will be the key to your success. By focusing on product quality, everything else about how the compost system operates will fall into line. This is a very simple rule, but it is also a very important one.
Regenerative Systems - Three Metrics of Success
This YouTube video was created and published by Michael Wolfert of Symbiosis Regenerative Systems in Texas. His narrative discusses the three metrics his company uses to gauge whether or not each of his projects is in a "mutually beneficial symbiotic relationship with nature". He covers the topics of capturing water, building soil, and increasing biological diversity.
Cold Weather Composting
"In winter, when manure is wet, my composting fails. It just turns to sludge most of the time. How can I fix this?"
ANSWER: When this happens, the mix is likely predominantly manure (very little stall bedding). When it gets wet we are losing our porosity, resulting in little to no airflow through the pile.
Assuming this is true, the resolution to the problem is to add a bit of wood fiber to: 1) absorb the excess moisture; and 2) provide structure and porosity to the pile. I recommend using wood pellets for this purpose (~$5.00 per 40 lb bag, which will go a long way). As you add the manure to the bin, sprinkle a couple handfuls of pellets on top, wet them, and use a rake or trowel to mix them into the top six inches or so. The pellets will break open (like popcorn) when you do this. I like the mix to be 80-90% manure and 10-20% wood fiber.
New Cornerstone System
Owner: Meg W.
Location: Palm Beach Gardens, FL
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