Organic Composting

Our initial challenges

We started our gardening venture with a hard challenge, literally. Most of the area we wanted to use for gardening was hard Georgia red clay and lots of rocks. After a few tries planting in the ground with minimal success we decided to try container garden using the Hügelkultur method (a method using raised planting bed (in our case – containers) filled with topsoil, wood, and organic materials found on our property). The decomposing wood releases water and nutrients into the soil to conserve precious resources. The organisms that break down the rotting wood to make all of this goodness available to the soil also help aerate that soil too.

 After a few seasons of container gardening we decided to use the rich material from the containers to amend the soil in the ground. This showed us promising results with a more bountiful harvest from our garden. We soon started placing our chicken runs over a future garden bed. This allowed the chickens to turn and fertilize the soil further adding nutrients into the ground. This gave us greater rewards. It was time to step up our game.

    We soon embarked on creating much more compost on a grander scale. By a chance meeting we made friends with a local man who operates a home sawmill business who also has horses on the property. He had an abundant amount of sawdust, horse manure and hay he needed to dispose of on a regular basis. This is a perfect start to composting as it has a great blend of nitrogen and carbon based material. 

   It wasn’t long before we had a few different piles going. Each pile is about 10,000 lbs  and each a month newer pile is started. Each pile gets turned weekly to keep the core temperature about 130 degrees to create hot composting. We regularly get fresh greens “scraps” from a local organic market and add this plus occasional bags of dry leaves and yard debris from neighbors to the blend. In 3 to 4 months this creates a great nutrient rich compost to add to our garden or flower beds. 

   By organically recycling farm and yard waste we are establishing a symbiotic relationship with the earth, allowing it to thrive and flourish.