White Bread in the Compost?
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Author:  leonhutto [ Fri Dec 10, 2010 7:42 pm ]
Post subject:  White Bread in the Compost?

At work, we had a Christmas feast, catered in, for about 300 employees. Afterwards, the caterers were cleaning up, and I saw one of them hauling a HUGE bag of dinner rolls out. I asked her what she was going to do with them, and she said they were headed to the dumpster.

Well, my inner packrat got the better of me, so I asked her if I could have them, and she gave them to me. There were about 200 rolls in that bag!

I'm planning to let them dry out and crumble them up for the compost pile.

QUESTION: I'm guessing these rolls are a "green", but not a "super green" like cow manure or grass clippings. Bread has lots of carbs but little or no protien, so I'm also guessing it will be a good energy source for the micro-critters. Does anyone have an opinion on this?

Another crazy idea I had was to put them in a couple of 5 gallon buckets, get them good and wet, add some blood meal, and mix it all up into a mush with a paint auger. Then, I can pour the slurry into the midst of the pile next time I turn it. Think that will work?

Any of you other mad scientists out there have a better idea how to use these rolls?

Author:  Garon [ Mon Dec 13, 2010 9:57 am ]
Post subject:  Re: White Bread in the Compost?

Great catch to get these before they hit the dumpster.

Personally, I believe you may be 'over thinking' this. There may be an ideal ratio between carbs / proteins (carbon / nitrogen, etc.) but anything once living will eventually compost given enough time. We throw in just about everything we used to throw in the trash (food scrapings, napkins, leaves, grass, plant clippings, dog wastes, etc...) and let nature do the rest. We once threw in the shells from shrimp and crab legs and they are now nowhere to be found in the pile. Pretty cool, huh?

Since you have made several compost piles, it may be fun to experiment a little with different components and different conditions. I am confident that one would probably compost quicker than another, and the final make-up of elemental compounds (N, P and K) will be of different ratios, but all will be good for the lawn and plants.

Just my 2 cents. Keep us posted!

Author:  leonhutto [ Mon Dec 13, 2010 11:35 am ]
Post subject:  Re: White Bread in the Compost?

That's what I'm doing! Pile "A" recieved the bread and blood meal slurry when I turned it 2 days ago. Pile "B" is my control, no additives, but turned at the same time as the other. I'm monitoring the temp of both piles, which were created with approximately the same ingredients. Both piles were cold when I turned them this past weekend.

We will see what happens after a week.

Author:  leonhutto [ Sat Dec 18, 2010 4:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: White Bread in the Compost?

It's been 6 days since I started my experiment. The "boosted" pile is cooking nicely at 140 degrees, while the "control" pile never got above 70 degrees. This morning, I added the same bread mix (75 white bread rolls, 1 cup blood meal, mixed into a mush with 2 1/2 gallons of hot water) into the second pile and turned it, top to bottom. Now I'll let nature take it's course!

Author:  Garon [ Sat Dec 18, 2010 8:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: White Bread in the Compost?

So the 'control' pile now has the blood meal mix?

Author:  leonhutto [ Sat Dec 18, 2010 9:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: White Bread in the Compost?

Yes Garon. I mixed the bread and blood meal into the control pile. Now to see if it has the same result as the first one.

If I get the same result, I'll have to start looking for a source of stale bread!

Author:  Garon [ Sun Dec 19, 2010 7:08 am ]
Post subject:  Re: White Bread in the Compost?

Thanks for the update. I love seeing how different conditions affect different organic projects.

The best part about the organic approach is I have yet to see a negative outcome.

Keep us posted!

Author:  leonhutto [ Tue Dec 21, 2010 11:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: White Bread in the Compost?

I am ready to declare that my disgusting bloodmeal & bread brew is GREAT for heating up a cold compost pile.

Only 3 days after inoculating my control pile with the mixture, it's cooking nicely at 140 degrees, just like the first pile did.

I should get about 2 cubic yards of finished compost out of this by spring!

Author:  dennisb [ Wed Feb 08, 2012 10:00 am ]
Post subject:  Re: White Bread in the Compost?

If your first pile didn't get hot, it may not be the blood/bun mixture that made the difference. You need moisture to make the pile cook, and you added that with your slurry.
The pile needs quite a bit of water in order for all the good microbes to be activated.
Try an test pile with no slurry, and more water. I bet you will be surprised with the results.

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