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PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2003 1:19 pm 
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Hey, don't forget to contact all the stores in your areas that have a lot of Halloween and Thanksgiving decorations, that will be thrown away after the holidays. I have already collected 50 bales of hay, and 20 rotten pumpkins, and got more on the way this weekend for my hot compost piles!

I have enough to bury in my personal compost piles and some for the piles that I sell to my compost customers.

Just thought I would pass the word on...

Happy Gardening everybody!

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2003 3:30 pm 
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Don't forget the old candy apples! The extra sugar (simple carbohydrates) will make the soil/composting microherd grow like crazy!

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2003 6:06 pm 
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OOOOH! Great idea, Cap'n! Thanks for reminding us! I did that a couple of years ago with all my neighbor's jack o'lanterns that weren't smashed to bits. Worked very, very well! Happy Trick or Treating! :lol: :shock: :wink:
Kathe


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2003 1:06 pm 
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My pile enjoys it's annual pumpkin treats, yummm :D I only wish I could find hay (or straw) bale handouts.

Old halloween candy "digests" well also, though I do remove the paper.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2003 9:07 pm 
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Hey Captain-
You may have already told us about this but how do you avoid possible contamination with Chlorpyralid and Picloram (sp) when free hay is introduced to the compost. We already know that hot composting doesn't break this stuff down? Do you just get straw and stay away from the hay?
Tony M


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2003 8:39 am 
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My philosophy is the more the merrier in composting! In other words, I try to mix and match up as many different kinds of greens and browns, that I can get free or economically in my hot piles. I use tons of fresh and aged horse manure, untreated sawdust, leaves, grass clippings, straw, hay, food scraps, dry molasses powder, and occasional fish scraps to make my piles hotter. I try to reach internal temps above 140 degrees F, for at least a few days per compost pile batch. Plus I aerate and inocculate my huge piles daily using special homemade aerobic compost tea recipes, urinated rainwater, and by lightly fluffing up the top 12" of my piles. I don't worry about mild pathogens, or toxins in my organic matter, because I'm relying on my other sustainable farming methods in my tea brews, mulches, cover crops, and companion plants to generate enough aerobic microbes, macrobes, and other beneficial organisms to bring balance and moderation to my healthy no-till gardening environment on my 3 acre farm home.

As compounds and molecules break down, rearrange themselves in the complex chemistry, microbiology, and physics of composting, I believe nature will automatically over time buffer and balance soluble nutrients via humus development and beneficial aerobic microbes to produce healthy soil and plants in a well managed sustainable farming system, irregardless of slightly controversal greens and browns that we could to use in our hot composting methods.

The bottom line is this for me: If you are seeing dozens of healthy earthworm per square foot of your garden beds at various times of the year, and your plants are growing strong and healthy, you must be doing something right, even without getting a formal soil analysis.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2003 11:28 am 
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Quote:
The bottom line is this for me: If you are seeing dozens of healthy earthworm per square foot of your garden beds at various times of the year, and your plants are growing strong and healthy, you must be doing something right, even without getting a formal soil analysis.


Works for me :-)

My hot pile is probably wayyyyy too expensive for compost but cost effective for fertilizer... My fall-finish pile gets used in all of the flower beds primarily, last year that resulted in my begonias coming back for a second year since they stayed warm and toasty. There will be enough left over to put a light coating on the lawn.

The current pile is almost completely broken down and I am guessing it is about 6x6x4 - around 5 cubic yards from what was about 20 times that in cardboard, manure, sawdust, leaves, hay, grass clippings, branches, a bag of miloganite, 50 lbs of cgm that got damp, 3 gallons of molasses, 25 pounds of cornmeal added late to get more fungus, probably 10 pounds of bird dropping/nut shells/birdfood, iguana poop, a few hundred egg shells, 100 pounds of kitchen waste, chicken bones, rib bones, a case of cheap beer, a couple gallons of kidney-processed beer, 250 pounds of cow manure, a half dozen buckets of algae/koi poop from the garden pond, a dozen catfish, a few pounds of leftover salmon, turkey leg bones (broken up after they dry out), God knows how many soldier fly larvae that got turned to the hot center and baked.... whew. I am guessing every particle has spent at least a week at 180 degrees when it got REAL hot. Before I spread it I'll probably mix in a bag or two of dry humate. So it ain't a cheap pile of fertilizer by the time it gets spread but if there is something good for the plants that is not in that pile I can't fathom what it would be. Then again a couple tons of fertilizer would not be cheap either :-)


Going by Cap'ns worm-meter I'd have to say it has been a great success!


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 31, 2003 4:05 pm 
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Check out my Halloween costume:

http://www.captaincompostalabama.com/interest.htm

Happy Gardening!

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William Cureton


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2003 12:36 am 
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:shock: :shock:

Pretty Scary, Captain!

8) 8)

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