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Re: [nafex] composting

At 08:37 AM 12/20/00 -0500, you wrote:
>   Keith: You must have mulched these leaves along with lawn  clippings eh?
>Usually takes years to get stand alone leaves in a  pile to do anything
>except become wet and a forage for worms along the bottom  or merely a
>component for a good composting mix. If your outside temp is 0 and you can
>see steam  eminating from your pile turn, turn, turn the pile. This will
>cook it and break it  down, cook any weed seed and give you a wonderful
>medium when done. Donna and I  are great believers in compost tea. I line
>my compost pit with a double  layer of 6 mil plastic set on top of concrete
>pads and tipped at a pitch towards  the front to one corner.  reclaim the
>solution and then store it up in a big covered barrel on hand when  needed
>and use this as a fertilizer throughout the season. I might add kitchen
>waste to the "hot pile" now as  well. Egg shells, coffee grinds etc as
>you've got a very valuable situation in that  it's cooking and able to
>consume almost anything added, keep turning every  few days or so....  
>Happy Holidays! Gianni   

I have been following this thread for a while and now have to get in.  I am
in a small town (Boro) in PA and the township brings me all the leaves that
they collect in the fall. This amounts to about 70 truckloads, so is quite
a pile. I have no way to turn the pile as it is as large as a three car
garage. I do try to flatten the top and let the pile sit over the winter
and collect rain and snow. I find that there are places in the pile that
decompose very well and others that remain completely dry. I use the pile
that has "rested" over the winter and start a new pile and let it "rest"
for a year. 

This has worked very well for me and the township. They are happy to have a
place to dump leaves (PA forbids that they put them in a landfill) Lasy
year they came out with a large front end loader and "repiled" the leaves
for me (that is almost like turning them). I use these leaves on the rows
of gooseberries and currants to provide mulch, conserve moisture, and to
provide some nutriants. Just seams like a "win/win" situation to me

Northumberland BerryWorks
707 Front Street
Northumberland, PA  17857
Phone:  (570) 473-9910

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