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Episode-788- Trevor Van Hemert on Composting — 14 Comments

  1. The more i keep animals the more efficient it seems to feed my food scraps to them and then compost the manure itself – much less waste and more direct it seems than plant-based piles of material…

  2. Goats also make a pellet type manure and will eat all sorts of things. I don’t recall if you can throw it right on the garden though.

  3. Earth Machine composter that is what I have and what Trevor was referring to. As someone new to composting it’s kinda funny, all summer long I had lots of greens and not enough browns. Now that it is winter I have just the opposite situation. This fall I have stockpiled leaves so I think next summer I will be on track, but I do have a couple questions . I really do not have enough material for a hot compost and it is taking quite a while to break down, do you think adding manure would help? The neighbors down the street have horses and manure for free. Some of the coffee shops have free coffee grounds for composting. Can you have too many coffee grounds? They are acidic. Thanks!

    • My impression is that coffee grounds are practically compost. They are C:N 30:1 and almost PH neutral (6.8) They can be used raw as a soil amendment, without further composting.

    • I am planning to buy some horse manure from a local stable so to get it for free would be outstanding. As I understand it, horse manure is great on its own as well after it has been aged for a while. For leaves, I have an old wire fence setup in about a four foot circle. I mulch them up and throw them in there in the fall.

      • NickJ — Please be careful when getting horse manure that you’re not making “killer compost” in the process. If the horse’s feed comes from land sprayed by herbicides, those chemicals often persist in the compost and will kill off anything that you try to plant in them. Jack has talked about this before and said a good way to test them is to plant some beans in the finished compost to see if they’re affected, since legumes seem to be the most sensitive crops to the pesticides.

  4. Michael Bane just did a podcast on basic preparedness “When things go dark.” He might be a good interviewee when you want to do another episode on the topic of firearms.

  5. Great show. what about putting your crap in a pressure cooker and killing every damn bit of bacteria and pathogens ?? 250 degrees for a few minutes should do the trick. I’m told that 160 F will do it.

    • Then your wife is more adventurous with composting than mine, St! I read it a while back and she rolled her eyes every time she saw the title. It’s OK though — I have a 4-yr old little girl that I’m molding to become my permaculture “mini-me”. 😀

  6. Great podcasts. We are compost maniacs here. Compost toilets by choice. Llamas goats and chickens, llama poop goes straight on the garden it is pelleted a little larger than goats, but we put goat poop and chicken litter (deep litter system) on the compost. Coffee grounds I thrown on a flower bed just outside the door.

  7. I’m so glad that Trevor mentioned The Humanure Handbook in this episode. I downloaded and printed out a copy a while back and read it and, regardless of whether or not you plan to compost human poop, it is one of the BEST books on composting I’ve ever read. The author is funny and also has the ability to discuss the science of composting in a thorough but easy-to-understand way.

    This was a great podcast. Thanks for having Trevor on again, Jack!