06 November 2010
Nothing like compost turning day to make chickens happy
Today I made a new compost bin with some straw bales and transferred my working pile into it. Every time I work with soil or compost I find I have five helpers underfoot. The other three aren't in this picture because they are at the old pile. They love eating the bugs and juicy bits that are exposed. I didn't add the second layer of bales until I had filled the first, just to save myself some work. The old bin was starting to collapse and I used the decomposing straw to layer with the partially broken down compost. I'll continue to add garden stuff and kitchen scraps until the spring when I'll turn everything in with the winter's chicken litter. The straw bales allow the entire pile to heat up right out to the edges and keep the pile warm for a long time.
The garden is starting to look a bit ratty around the edges, not surprising since we've had lots of frosty nights and lots of rain. Some things, like the kale and carrots are at their sweetest now. I had lots of comments on my instant garden this year. We moved the raised beds, compost and old straw bales from the old house and ordered some new soil. Within a couple of weeks I had tomatoes and pepper plants in and lots of other stuff planted. It was basically time to start planting the fall garden at that point, so I chose things with that in mind. I didn't do any of the season extension things that I was planning to do as we got sidetracked by house stuff, but I did discover that simply planting things midsummer instead of spring allows them to keep going longer into the fall. Easy.