The Ultimate Guide to Composting

Compost: The What, Why, and How

Compost is an integral part of our organic regenerative operation and has numerous forms, uses, and advantages. As a natural way of recycling organic matter, there is no better system to tap into for building soil. Compost can increase plants’ immune systems, improve soil structure, retain moisture, and reduce the need for fertilizer when appropriately utilized.

What Is Compost?

Simply put, compost is a mixture of decayed organic matter used to help build soil and feed or protect plants. Compost can take many forms, and not all are created equal. There is a science behind creating good compost!

Why Is Compost Used?

When mixed right, compost can contain more biological life force than any other amendment! Compost biology includes beetles, nematodes, worms, mites, and fungal spores. All of this help to produce soil that is diverse with life and able to buffer against diseases and pests.

How Is Compost used?

There are many ways to incorporate some form of composting into your agricultural practices. Compost can be derived from green (nitrogen), and dead (carbon) material and then added to the soil. Compost tea can be made to water or spray onto crops. Techniques for large-scale farming include utilizing no-till or minimum disturbance systems, cover crops, and grazing.

Compost Information and Resource

Building Soils For Better Crops  – Another great book by SARE, contains 2 chapters dedicated to compost and many other techniques that build soil. This a must-read for anyone looking to learn about soil, compost, and the science of regenerative organic methods.

Large-Scale Organic Materials Composting – Contains a useful table of high carbon and nitrogen materials with C/N ratios. 

Turning Cover Crops Into Green Manure – A brief and interesting article on using cover crops as compost. This idea can be used in raised beds, gardens, lawns, and even 1000 acres plots!

Composting Tips In This Picture Have Dug Down 5 Inches Into The Soil. Last Year This Small 2 Acres Was Our Personal Vegetable Garden. We Lightly Tilled It Early Sept After The First Frost Kill Everything At 19 Degrees. We Covered The Entire Area With 6 Inches Of Rice Straw And Some Old Seeded Hay. The Next Layer Is 4 To 5 Inches Of Oak Leaves And Many Buckets Of Wood Ash Along With Our Kitchen Waste. We Also Have 40 Personal Free Range Chickens That Love To Tear Up The Ground And Fertilize It.
Composting Tips Close Up Of Gem Corn Field Close Up Of Gem Corn Field In This Close Up Photo You Can See Kitchen Waste Being Applied About Every 2 To 3 Feet. As It Warms Up And The Chickens Do There Thing This Will Help Add More Biological Activity To The Soil. It'S Quite A Bit Of Work When You Use Natural Materials On Large Areas But The Rewards Are Well Worth The Effort.
Composting Tips Adding Wood Chips To Gem Corn In This Photo, We Have Gathered Tree Tops From The Dense Areas Of Our 45 Acres Of Woodlands. Wildfires Are A Reality In California; We Are Doing Our Part By Cleaning And Thinning The Woodlands. We Intend To Use Our Pto-Driven Wood Chipper And Place Another Layer Of Organic Materials On Top Of The Straw, Leaves, Kitchen Waste, And Fireplace Ash. We Will Have This All In Place In The Next Two Weeks, And By June 1, We Will Be Ready To Plant. Our Last Frost Is June 4Th Up Here In Lassen County, So The Material Placed Will Be 80 To 90% Decomposed. We Also Have A New Indoor Nursery Where We Can Start Our Seeds In Late March, So When It Comes Time To Plant Outdoors, The Plants Will Have Fully Developed Root Systems.

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