Friday, August 22, 2008

cookin crap

8/22/08 Friday
It’s always catch up time with me. First I’ll look at pictures to see what I did or at least what I took. That always triggers memories.

Well, it’s cookin crap time again. That’s pretty much what composting is with the “hot” method I use. Always looking for ways to do things better I’ve come up with this to improve the composting bin. What I really want to do is find a large tank of some kind that holds a thousand gallons or so, something round that is easy to roll. With that I can compost on nearly a commercial scale and it will be much easier from a labor standpoint as turning the compost is a simple matter of rolling the tank. In the meantime I have this. Two of the key components of composting are moisture and oxygen.
The need for oxygen is the reason you must turn the pile on a regular basis so that fresh air is introduced and things are loosened up. I’ve read that one of the commercial methods of composting involve pumping air into the mix, thus it doesn’t need to be turned. So I took a some of the pvc pipe I scavenged from the landfill and drilled it full of holes. As you can see I ran them through the bin to help it breathe or something. Perhaps later I’ll plumb in some way to hook up the vacuum cleaner to blow air in. Plus I can pour water through the pipes to keep it hydrated. Hopefully I won’t have to turn this and it will compost much faster.

I think I’ll go back in this journal and see when I started the other batch. It’s the pile next to the bin and looks pretty good. With three sources of horse poop lined up and more available for the asking I have the potential of producing quite a bit of this stuff and can see ten or so piles of it by next spring. That in itself is a sellable product and my compost, made with horse manure is superior to what you can get at the store. The store stuff is often made from cotton burr and other plant waste. Then there’s the composted cow manure. Fact is that comes from commercial cattle factories where the cows are fed a diet of the cheapest feed available, made from all kinds of waste products. I just saw where reject M&M’s are put in the feed. What I have is a mix of green plant material I mowed down and horse poop from horsed fed good alfalfa hay. Hey, quality poop makes quality compost and it should help me grow quality crops.

Here’s another picture. Remember all the work and pain I endured to plant the next batch of blackeyed peas? For three days I painstakingly planted nice, evenly spaced out seeds at a precise depth of an inch. (Well, maybe not precise but close) So I go out and look a couple of days ago and what do I see? Thousands of plants coming up all over the place except where I planted them. When I had tilled under the old plants they still had lots of dried bean pods on them. I had started to pick them off but decided to avoid the pain it causes, figuring tilling them under would keep most from sprouting. Nope, not going to work that way. What I planted hasn’t had time to come up yet so now I have to go through and pluck this out. I’ll save some of the plants but must thin it a bunch or none of it will do well. If I’d known this I could have saved myself a load of work, just tilled the old stuff in and thinned it out later. Oh well, such is the constant education of farmer bob. I kind of like that moniker. “Farmer Bob” has a nice ring to it. From a marketing standpoint for this farm it will work as it is easy to remember and sticks in the mind well. That’s right, Farmer Bob says “Quality poop makes quality compost”. There’s the quote for the day.

We went to Robert Benjamin’s funeral this morning. While it is a solemn time the funeral was upbeat and positive. This is because Robert was a Christian and thus death is simply a transition to a better place where his primarily Christian family will see him when it’s their turn to pass on. Need I say more?

We were almost late because I helped Matt load and bring over a refrigerator he is giving us. I don’t yet know if it works well so will plug it in outside to make sure before we bring it in. It’s not pretty but if it keeps from freezing everything it will be an improvement.

The only other thing I can think of right now is I picked up a grill at the landfill. It too is not pretty and is missing the part you put steaks on. Do you call that the grill too? I don’t know but finding the right words is always a problem. Anyway, it’s better than the cinderblock contraption I pieced together last year and I can make the wire grill part from stuff I’ve got hanging around. It looks like there’s a smoker setup attached to the bottom of it. Perhaps it’s just an ash trap but I can use it to smoke the meat.

Time to go now. For some reason our television reception went to hell. We can barely get channel seven at all and twenty four if we readjust the antenna. That’s it. Oh well.

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