Yesterday I finished turning our compost piles and pushing the hay to one side in anticipation of a few loads of manure that I’ll be hauling. If the rain stops and ground firms up, I hope to get at least four loads of manure from a tandem axle dumptruck. Tami @ 500 Dollar Tomato posted about her compost woes.

When the manure starts to roll in I like to place it where I can fold some of the hay into it. Depending on how fresh the poop is will greatly influence how much of the hay I’ll fold in. Our piles are near the top of the hill, directly above our garden. Any surface run off ends up in our patch.

Thankfully I don’t have neighbors that would complain about the sight of steaming piles of composting crap. I’m sure that a neighborhood association would have a ticket writing frenzy from these efforts.

I will haul in just about anything that will degrade in the composting process. Our piles will get a mix of hay, leaves, chicken litter, cow manure and grass clippings from my dads. If I run across anything that can be composted I’ll haul it in.

This is some of what we will be using this year.



  1. Ron said,

    March 5, 2011 at 9:27 PM

    That looks like some serious compost! Very nice!Does your dad do some farming in the area?Someday I'd like to find some more sources near me for easy-to-get-to materials, but I've got a lot of work to do taking advantage of what I already have before then. Finding a 3-bin bagger for the mower last fall was a big improvement.Ron

  2. Woody said,

    March 6, 2011 at 6:28 AM

    Ron…that is a bunch of shit.Dad doesn't farm but we have tons of friends who do. They think it odd to request items they deem useless. Why would anyone want hay that can't be used as feed?I would love to have a bagger on our mower. I've looked at the vacuum assist type…damned pricey! The introduction of green grass and chopped up leaves would be nice though.

  3. Leigh said,

    March 7, 2011 at 7:03 AM

    Wow, I've never seen compost piles that big. We've been able to increase our compost out put with three goats and 8 chickens, but it never seems like it's enough.

  4. Woody said,

    March 7, 2011 at 9:29 AM

    Leigh..When we started our garden there was not much more than an inch of decent soil, two foot of clay and rock and then hardpan. Over the last eight years we have really thrown our efforts into building our soils. It is very much worth the efforts.

  5. Phoebe said,

    March 11, 2011 at 2:53 AM

    I have serious compost envy! Oh my gosh what I would do with all that…We have about 4 inches of soil and then loose plates of low grade basalt. The only soil to speak of here at the Homestead is what I can make. Great drainage though.That's a lot of work you've put into those lovely heaps.

  6. Woody said,

    March 12, 2011 at 7:29 AM

    Phoebe..I still get a chuckle from the idea that there are people (I'm leading the charge) who get excited about piles of crap.

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