“The fairest thing in nature, a flower, still has its roots in earth and manure.” – David Herbert Lawrence – Little Tassie Prepper

“The fairest thing in nature, a flower, still has its roots in earth and manure.” – David Herbert Lawrence

First, I have updated my blog with a new banner.  I am not sure I really like it, it looked nice when I first started, yet now I am thinking ‘meh’.  I might work on another.

Secondly, I have just realised that there is a smudge on my camera lens.  I use a Nikon Coolpix 3300 that I bought from JB Hifi a few weeks ago.  Actually, this is not the one I bough a few weeks ago, I had to take that back to them as it stopped working for no reason.  JB Hifi were excellent about the camera when I took it back to them and they replaced it with a new one immediately.  Anyway, I will clean the lens now so that future pictures are more clear.

 

I decided it was time for me to make some compost so I spent some time yesterday and today gathering some materials.

  1. Using a machete I cut back some large naturally growing plants.  I believe that these are large English Broom plants that are considered an invasive species.  I cut back about three wheelbarrows full of this.
  2. I cut around a wheelbarrow full of grass that has been growing in my vegetable garden.
  3. I gathered a wheelbarrow of old straw from the chicken house.  This straw included chicken manure.
  4. I gathered about half a wheelbarrow of rabbit manure and half a barrow of sheep manure.
  5. I also grabbed one of my chooks that I had to put down yesterday.
  6. I also used a wheelbarrow of old compost from a previous run.
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This is the location of my compost pile, and some of the materials I gathered.

I spread a layer of old compost and covered this with a nice thick layer of grass clipping.  None of these layers are to be compressed.  This is to ensure that air can move through the compost pile.  On top of this I spread the chicken manure and the old straw to provide bacteria to help break down the materials.  You can see my dog George in this photo, he is eying the chicken body to the far left.

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George seems very interested in something.

I placed the chicken on top of this layer to make sure it has extra heat to break down.  You can see my dog George is now missing from the area.  I had to send him away as he decided that the chicken was his to play with.

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Where is George?

On top of the chicken layer I placed a thick layer of English Broom with some thistle weeds and other undesirables thrown in for good measure.  This layer was then topped with a half a wheelbarrow full of sheep manure.

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The sheep are helping out too.

I laid the remaining load of English Broom, shaping the pile into a smooth conical shape.  At this stage I would normally water the materials to help them to start breaking down, yet as the materials were still wet from a light shower this morning I forwent that stage.

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Finished already?

Finally I simply placed a tarp on top (weighted down with old tires).  This is both to help the compost retain the heat it requires, as well as prevent my dogs from digging up the chicken body.

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The finished pile… although it is really the first stage. Also, see my Geese in the background?

In around 3-4 days time I will go to the pile and invert the materials, so that the material on the bottom will be on the outside, and the material on the outside will be on the bottom.  I will photograph this and in around 27 days I should have excellent compost.

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