Time for new pile?

The International Compost Sanitation Forum and Message Board: General Composting Issues: Time for new pile?
Author: Wayne
Monday, April 17, 2006 - 7:53 am
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My pile has been accumulating for about 7 months. The bin has been full for the last couple of months, but so far has always settled enough for yet another addition of humanure and kitchen compost (usually 4 buckets at a time).

Here's my dilemma: Do I continue to build this pile until it quits settling enough to add more material OR should I start a new pile now and let this pile begin aging so as to be ready for use in the spring of 2007. If I don't start a new pile until late summer or fall, that would mean I probably wouldn't get to use the compost until spring '08. However, if I start a new pile now, it may fill up in the middle of winter requiring me to start yet another pile before next spring. Any thoughts on this? Thanks in advance...

Wayne Ferguson
http://www.thefourprecepts.com/
http://www.thefourprecepts.com/waynesworld/humanure.html

Author: Joe Jenkins
Wednesday, April 19, 2006 - 12:12 am
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I go until the summer solstice every year. At that time, I start the next pile. By then, we have emptied out the last pile into the garden. The active pile seems full about two months before the solstice, but I keep adding to it anyway and it keeps shrinking enough to go until the solstice. This seasonal routine has worked well for me for 27 years, although if my system is being used by too many people, it will fill prematurely. This has happened only once, and I had to throw together a quick compost bin in the middle of the winter one year. In the spring that year, I resumed adding to the original pile because it was shrinking by then. Then, as always, I changed again at the solstice.

Joe

Author: Wayne
Wednesday, April 19, 2006 - 7:25 am
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If you stop building the pile in June, does that mean you start using it before it has aged a full year? In other words, if I continue building my current pile until the middle of June, say, could I still begin using it in the Spring of '07 (after 10 or 11 months of aging)?

Author: admin
Wednesday, April 19, 2006 - 7:26 pm
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Yes, we start using it after 10 months of aging, although the bottom of the pile is already 22 months old, so we try to start digging from the lower part of the pile. However, we aren't too concerned about it. For us, 10 months of aging often seems adequate.

Joe

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