New Compost Piles – BLUE, YELLOW, & PINK

We built three new compost piles last week. All three piles share the same ingredient base of wood chips, fresh cut greens, and alfalfa, but each with slightly different proportions and differing additional ingredients. All three have been heating up nicely, and have been turned at least once so far.

New Compost Piles

The BLUE pile was created on 2/4/08. It has the least diversity of materials.

  • 50% aged wood chips
  • 35% fresh greens
  • 15% alfalfa (1/3-1/2 old bale)

The YELLOW pile was created on 2/5/08.

  • 40% aged wood chips
  • 20% fresh greens
  • 15% rice straw (~1/3 bale)
  • 10% aged, dried, brown grass
  • 15% alfalfa (1/3-1/2 old bale)

The PINK pile was created on 2/7/08.

  • 35% aged wood chips
  • 20% fresh greens
  • 20% aged, dried, brown grass
  • 5% aged, shredded cardboard
  • 20% alfalfa (<1/2 new bale)

*Some notes about ingredients: Some of the sections of the wood chip pile have been aging for about a year now, and showed significant fungal growth. The fresh greens come from the field next to the wood chip pile and consist mostly of miners lettuce, grass, and some milk thistle. The alfalfa used in the first two piles had been sitting in the barn for many months and is the same alfalfa used in the RED pile. It seems to be lower in nitrogen, maybe a bad batch or maybe from sitting. The PINK pile got a new, greener-looking bale. Lastly, the dried brown grass comes from the fields cut last spring. It has been sitting in a pile under tarps since then, it is pretty gross and slimy, but I saw a bunch of different mushrooms sprouting from mats of it as I was building piles. It may be a good fungal medium for future use.

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