14 September 2010


We really like compost around here. Any of my plants that grow outside in our garden flourish in it, especially when compared to the plants in my greenhouse that are grown from organic soil arriving in bags from Agway.

There are many styles of composting, usually dependent on the composter. I happen to be a lazy composter - that is, the type of gardener who piles things into the compost and lets them simmer on low for a full year, without doing a thing. The chickens are very helpful in this department, as they regularly till the compost with their capable feet, seeking bits of food scraps and juicy worms to supplement their diet.

The old scrap wood compost bin on the left and the new scrap wood compost bin on the right. Once we till last year's compost into the garden soil this fall, we'll face both the bins in the same direction.

But one thing we do not like about composting with chickens is that they flatten out the pile so that instead of a neat mound of compost, (with a hot middle) you end up with bits of corn husk blowing around your lawn after the chickens have clawed through it. So, it was time for me to build another compost bin. With the slim bits of scrap wood left over in our barn for the task, it was much more of a challenge this time than last time. I solved the problem by using a middle support beam so that I could use smaller scraps of wood. I still need to add one or two thin boards to the bin. Kevin shoveled and raked up all the compost, which was as rich and dark on the bottom as chocolate cake, into the new bin. Let's hope it holds up for a good few years against the chickens!

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