Composting at Sol Feliz. Part II.

20140723-154633-56793819.jpgToday we gathered at Sol Feliz Farm to make more progress on what we started a couple of weeks ago (see our post on July 2).  We still have several piles of alfalfa and other biomass in piles that you can see us layering into a mound above.  In between the layers of biomass (about 4-8″), we put a layer of chicken manure/sawdust (about 1-2″).  We will know if this is a good combination of carbon:nitrogen by how much the temperature raises in the next few days.  We are treating the alfalfa+biomass as if it is carbon by making the layers, but it also contains nitrogen in that the dry plants are still very much green inside the pile.  We are treating the chicken manure as if it is nitrogen, but again, it is mixed with sawdust so both of our sources contain carbon and nitrogen and make the process of making layers of compost more about estimation and experience than measurement.20140723-154634-56794243.jpgAfter a couple of hours of making layers, we have a nice pile to show for it and have cleared up the field real nice too.  In the picture above you can see, from left to right, Miranda Romero, Jesus Gonzales, and Greg Romero who were instrumental in constructing this pile that is about 6 feet tall and 10 feet wide at the base.  We still have some biomass and manure to incorporate and we would like to define the pile into a more cube-like structure so stay tuned for composting part three…

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About Miguel

Miguel Santistevan is a researcher, educator, and advocate for traditional agriculture crops and systems.
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