Late Summer Compost Bin Update - August 2021

The last time I posted about our compost bins was back in mid-July when I measured the temperature right at/below the 'cooking' zone.  Since then, we've had the hottest weather of the year and that means that we had some 'action' in our bins.  Below, you can see in the photo what our two-bin setup looks like right now.  On the right, an empty bin.  On the right, a (mostly) full bin.  

Compare these with what the same thing looked like in May of this year when both bins were (mostly) full: 

This photo above is from May of 2021.

Where did all that material go?  Well...the good news is that the bottom of the bin on the right looked like this below:

Lovely stuff.  Black gold?  Almost. But, no smell.  No mud.  Just kinda feels great in your hand.  

Where did this stuff go?  Into our compost tumbler - to be finished for next Spring.  My plan now is to run a three-bin setup that uses two large storage bins and our tumbler for finishing.  

Below, you can see in the photo what the number one (working) bin looks like right now.  

I emptied it all out and put the finished (or close to it) material in the tumbler - which is now full.  And then put the balance in the bin on the right.  This week, I'm going to add some alfalfa cubes and turn the bin on the left into this bin.  I'll also replace the passive aeration and maybe even add some more tubes.

It seems that I've landed on a plan:

Throughout the year:  collect material for storage bin.  

Late Summer:  Transfer good material for finishing in tumbler.

Late Summer:  Build layers and add accelerator in working bin.

Late Summer:  Begin to re-fill storage bin.


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