Sunday, February 27, 2011

Compost slow cooker

It has been a long time since I've gone over to the veggie patch. However this morning was sunny, and I could use some fresh air. Along with my intrepid wife, we headed on over.

There are two bins, one that we filled last year and stopped in August and the other that we started in August that we'll add to all this coming growing season.

The older pile is on the left. I was not responsible for the mess on the right. We'll get that sorted out in a few weeks. For now let's take a look at the older pile. It looks pretty good.

The piles face south and with warmer (relatively) weather coming I want to crank up the heat to increase decomposition and the destruction of any undesirables that might be in the pile.

An easy way to manage that it to cover the pile with some heavy black plastic. In two shakes of a lamb's tail we got that done.

Now, as the sun shines it'll warm the pile. We'll need to uncover it now and then to water it, or maybe turn, but in about 8 weeks, we should be ready to move it to the beds.

Speaking of the beds, I cut through the barn (saying hello the the chickens!) to go take a look.

They are still covered in snow. Yep, no getting in there any time soon, but as soon at the soil can be worked I'm planning on a rock removal project. The soil is terribly fertile, but loaded with rocks. It's OK for some crops but not so good for root vegetables. I'd like to improve that. Oh, here are the snow covered beds.

As you can see it's not sunny, in fact they are calling for rain, so the sunny morning had given way to a dreary overcast cold and damp afternoon. 

As I stood there, cheeks flushed from the cold, I could hear the  song of a male Northern Cardinal. I couldn't see him at first, but moving slowly I walked in the direction of his call. Neither my eyes nor the camera is good enough to see him in clear focus, but there he was, a bright  red smudge in the drab brown trees. He knows spring is coming.

Until next time, Keep Digging & Eat Well!

The Gastronomic Gardener
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