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Composting Huge Amounts of Manure and Composting With Worms

September 13, 2013

We are starting a project in a Mexican border village where we work. Local stockyards generate 400 to 500 cubic yards of manure per year. We want to compost the manure for use on gardens and orchards. We want to feed some of the manure to red worms to produce castings to further improve the soil. The local soil is an ancient sea bed and is a salty mix of clay and sand. My questions: (1) What is the best way to compost large amounts of cow manure? (2) How do I know when it is safe to put on gardens? (3) Worm castings, I want to produce about 50 to 75 cubic yards per year. How do I do that? A final note on biochar made from pecan shells. We add it to our gardens at a rate of about 1 pound per square foot. It seems to have good results with the 50 or so gardens we have put it on.

Did My Compost Get Hot Enough?

November 23, 2013

Hello. I am a farmer in Albuquerque and have a composting dilemma. We have 3 large piles that are fairly large and of different ages. Our oldest one is probably 8 months old and I have been checking its temperature, watering and turning it regularly. The pile peaked at about 135 degrees in August, but now the temp is down to 50-60 degrees. I just recently turned it and it hasn’t changed. Is the cycle complete? Or should I just add more nitrogen-ic materials? Thank you for your help!

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