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care and feeding

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years ago

Feeding and caring for your tropical vermi-forest compost pile.

Bio-mimicry

 

MOST IMPORTANT PART!

RATIO of

CARBON:NITROGEN

Average 4:1 (3-5:1)

The big number is carbon, just to be clear

(can't emphasize this point too much)

 

 

NITROGEN= greenwaste, kitchen scraps, green leaves, wet fresh food/herbs/etc.....*A note about urine.  It seems to be an over-looked but excellent ready-to-use nitrogen-rich additive. Recommend to add to mulch piles (i.e.tree chips) that are waiting to be added to garden or compost pile. Great activator. Recommend to google it yourself.

 

 

CARBON= Dry/brown; dead leaves, paper, woodchips, cardboard, sawdust, dry grass.....Remember; diversity is the key and plenty of it. 4X more carbon than nitrogen.

 

 

 

 

 

Feed vermi-forest compost piles/rows in layers = 30% nitrogen and 70 % carbon, alternating and never letting too much nitogen accumuate in one spot (creates anaerobic conditions). Keep everything aerobic at all times, that way no human disease pathogens will be present.

 

Build rows up to 12-18". Diversity is key, in size, shape and material. Enough but not too much moisture, also oxygen. Imitate a very active tropical forest floor. This is beyond vermiculture because it includes all other participants in soil/nutrient web; fungi, millipedes, beetles, microorganisms, worms, etc.

 

 

 

 

Compost all kitchen scraps                             Transfer food & organic waste to buckets...or barrels...

                                                                              ...whatever's appropriate scale and easy to carry to compost place.

                  

Gather food scraps and paper            Seeds sprout vigorously in castings so be careful. Great compost, but

when you go to gatherings                untended feeder roots will take over compost bin/row

 

All paper; junk mail, to-go containers, newspapers, old journals....shredded is best           

 

If you can get your own shredder, it's awesome... also businesses often shred paper and will give it to you                                                                                                                               

 

 

  Cardboard is great. It's easy to tear up when wet. (sprinklers work well)   Corrugation is great habitat for worms and mychorhizzal.

    Cardbaord is trees. It feeds the earth.

   

 

 

Woodchips are the basis. Brings in the millipede family and fungi too.

 

Most kinds are good, some kinds so/so and some no-no. Be aware of what chips you get.

                                                                                                                        Coconut is premium, hands down.

                                          Get good clean mulch wherever you can to start with, and for the future--grow mulch.

                                          Grow coconuts for mulch! Grow NFTs, bananas, trees, etc...plant 50-70% for mulch!

 Dry leaves are important carbon source too.

 

Chickens are a great companion for forest-style vermi-compost systems. They help you mix.

*(Worms and bugs are very good for chickens too but don't let them eat too much. You know how they are.)

They also eat maggots if your compost should ever (heaven forbid) get anaerobic and disgusting. (gross prevention).

Anyway, try never to go there. Remember, keep your pile cool, never hot. Disperse, layer, don't let nitrogen get too deep or compact.

 

 

And moist--- not soggy and not dry. Misters are the best, 15-20 min, once or twice a day. (timers strongly recommended)

 

 

 

Beneficial Active Microorganisms...great to add this, or something like it, at least as a starter. If your pile stays healthy, they will thrive on and on: BAM is similar to EM but needs no activator besides water. The microorganisms in BAM were developed to be more specific for Hawaii soils' needs. It's made in O'ahu and distributed locally by Jimmy Piretti in Kilauea (PHONE # 634-4904)

     

Bedding first                                                  and layer

 

Always top with all carbon, no raw food scraps showing. Cover pile with shade cloth. Then no flies.

 

The pile doesn't need much attention. Awareness and wise observation is where it's at. Stay on top.

 

that's feeding....

and later....happy harvest............................. happy harvest

 

A word about mulch:

Most people never get enough. Use more.

And make sure it's getting AIR. (big chunks help, hollow cardboard tubes with holes is way cool....Keep it fluffy)

 

Comments (1)

Steven Perry said

at 11:01 pm on Dec 14, 2008

C:N ratio is VERY important.
Please -- always put carbon information/comments first, to help us simpler folks keep them straight.

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