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Re: [nafex] composting

    I grew up in Florida, where organic matter evaporates nearly as fast as
it is produced.  Even in Tennessee where it's pretty dang hot most of the
year, I thought composting was some sort of Yankee plot, or perhaps more of
that Puritan work ethic they have up there.  Or maybe they need the exercise
just to keep warm.  Gianni, for instance, says "turn it every few days".
That goes against inborn southern laziness.
    But a small army of rabid composters finally convinced me that in the
winter I could take advantage of the free heat produced (plus the air that
is a lot more available in a pile than in the ground) to convert raw
materials turn into superb soil much faster than simply throwing them on the
ground. (Whether mulching or spreading before plowing)   It only took doing
it once to convert me.  We haul the manure and I spread the other
ingredients in layers as my husband shovels it off the truck.  Sometimes
it's horse manure plus bedding and I just add lime and crumbled soil and
rock dust.  Sometimes it's just sawdust or shavings and I add chicken manure
as well, or we dump buckets of urine on the heap later (we don't have any
plumbing to worry about in the cold weather).  Either way, it DOES get warm,
and it turns into something to make chemical gardeners weep with envy, even
though I turn each heap only once in it's career.  I throw the outside of
the heap on the garden and mix the inside finished product half and half
with garden soil for my own potting soil.  I use it for everything except
starting small seeds.  My hickory and BW seedlings are all planted in it as
are all the rest of my potted trees.  Now that the garden is producing more
than we can eat, I think it's time to start making compost for my neglected
fruit trees.    Donna

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