This moist overcast day is perfect for composting leaves. It was raining for hours by the time I was out to mound leaves for composting. Here's why I’m thankful for a rainy day.
In the overcast morning I poured on nitrogen materials, then forked up leaves matted together with moisture. Misting all the time I worked the pitch fork leaves stayed together. Less work on my part.
My preferred composting bin for homestead scale materials are cattle panels turned into a circle. These chest high wire bins hold about two and a half cubic yards of materials.
You might think this much material would be difficult to handle yet it take up very little space. When you work with nature one of these fills up over a few fall days.
When you fill it up in the fall, let it get watered down over the winter.
Big enough to compost a cow (literally) — you won’t need air tubes or even water hoses if you manage these bins the right way. I follow a modified Berkley Composting method described in the members only resources.
In 2014 I produced two cubic yards of rich crumbly compost from one bin — for 2015 I’m cranking up production. Right now PROSPERITY HOMESTEAD has four of these composting bins filled to the rim with leaves, coffee grounds, orange peels, and bio mass grown around the property.
Leaving the covers off these piles during a good rain helps get moisture into the pile during your loading phase. No effort required other than peeling back the cover. This extra moisture also helps with moving bulk materials too.
If you’ve been to one of our classes and follow our modified method, then you aren’t too concerned about run off or excess moisture because that is handled in the preparation. In the bulk materials phase you are just concerned with stacking it high in layers.
Here compost is produced year around, seasons are measured and utilized. Timing is important to take advantage of this free opportunity resource of rain (or snow.) Making rich compost is made really easy when you know how.
Justin Hitt is a Permaculture Design Consultant with more than two decades of experience with organic gardening. He teaches the practical application of critical thinking, entrepreneurial ecology, and homestead management. Practical insights for practitioners, estate owners, and homesteaders.