What do I compost?

MarkR

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I do two piles.

One for leaves, which I fill every fall. Tightly-packed leaves produce different nutrients from regular compost. It's a slightly different process (anaerobic, I think, I can't ever keep all that stuff straight).

And one for everything else. You can really compost just about anything if you're willing to leave it long enough. I have a friend who composted a couple of his hens that died. They were done in a little over a year. However, if you want to use it sooner, stick to vegetable matter.

Mark
 

Mothergoat

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Oh my, HENS in the compost? :hu :duc Maybe your friend should be the one w/Farmer Maggot as his nickname!! LOL

I prefer to do like DigitS and build up a big pile and let it sit. ONly, since we have a lot of little goat shelters and another area w/chickens, we tend to have SEVERAL big piles around the place every year. We're on acreage, so it is spread out. I also will stick a few pumpkin seeds or whatever into the current pile. Most of these piles are not far from the coop/pen area and it's handy to dump those waterbuckets on the pile or on a small plot nearby every day...So why waste all that good stuff? water/sun/nutrients = big squash and very little effort. Hey, I'm not lazy, just old. :old
 

Nifty

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What do ya'll think about this for the compost bin:

http://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/grd/523751594.html

I brew about once monthly and end up with 24 - 30 pounds of cooked malts that would be great in a compost pile. Unfortunately I do not have a compost pile other wise I would use them myself. If you live close enough I will even bring it by.

Do farm animals eat this stuff? Maybe that would work too. A lot of the sugar has been extracted out of the grains for the wort but perhaps your pig is a little too fat and needs a diet (don't we all). If so I've got the goods for you!

In addition to the massive amounts of 2-row malt there are usually lots of specialty grains for the discriminating beasts, to name a few:

British Chocolate Malt
Belgian Cara-Munic Malt
British Black Patent
 

digitS'

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Nifty, this is where I'd toss out my rule of thumb not to compost cooked items. Since the grains are cooked and the soluble carbohydrates are washed out - there's probably a good deal of the proteins left.

Livestock do indeed eat the spent grain. It is wet and expensive to transport and probably won't keep long before it begins to decay. I guess it's something of a problem for the small breweries to get rid of this stuff.

There will be a lot of spent distillery grain as more ethanol is produced in the US. Distillery grain and brewery grain both can have the lees from the brewing vats mixed in. I guess that the hop residue from beer-making can be a bit of a problem. Your critter needs to tolerate a very bitter feed. But, hops aren't used to make ethanol.

This mixed stuff can be dried and it turns into a livestock feed with about 30% protein! Now it's worth about $100/ton as I understand it. They won't be dumping it in a landfill. Since it would be about 5% nitrogen (if I still know how to figure that), it should be a very suitable organic fertilizer.

Steve
 

Nifty

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Between coffee grounds from local cafes and spent grains from local breweries some of us may have a great supply of material for our compost bins!
 

Rio_Lindo_AZ

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this is probobly the time to let out my uncle's reciepe........



What my uncle does is mows his grass and he takes all that cliped grass and tills it into the soil. He waters it (even though theres no seeds) and after two days the soil turns greenish :he ...........that means its working :rose
 

digitS'

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Between coffee grounds from local cafes and spent grains from local breweries some of us may have a great supply of material for our compost bins!
Okay, and coffee grounds are cooked twice - - I'm still not putting old bread or last night's casserole in there! I'm trying to grow something other than rodents. ((Earthworms would be okay and, boy, do they love coffee. :p me too :p

digitS'
:caf
 

Mothergoat

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OK, so now I have to get out there and talk to the people at some of the coffee kiosks and maybe pay a visit to the local microbrewery. Great ideas. Do you suppose chickens would like some of those spent grains?
 

sebrightlover

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hmmm...I might have to go to the local coffee shop and ask for their used grounds :)

I have grass clippings that we raked up (we often let the grass grow to 8 inches much to the chagrin of the city and the neighbors!) that we just put in a pile under an old fiberglass shell of something (I have no idea what it once was, but we can fit the pile of clippings and the lawn mower under it!) that should be good and ready this spring. Will have to start a new pile this season.

I've always heard no meat, no animal waste that eats meat (dog, cat, etc). Anything else is pretty much fair game. Correct me if I am wrong.
 

Nifty

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In my experience, nothing jump starts my compost going (heating up) like mixing in freshly cut grass.

In fact, I've found that a bunch of chicken litter mixed with a bunch of fresh cut green grass will really get a compost pile heated up.

My compost when it is really cookin:

hot_compost.jpg
 

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