Uses of straw etc in pile?

The International Compost Sanitation Forum and Message Board: General Composting Issues: Uses of straw etc in pile?
Author: Joe (Joe)
Tuesday, January 28, 2014 - 12:07 pm
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It's semantics. "Layering" suggests putting a layer of straw, then other organic material, etc., like a lasagna. So when you tell someone to "layer" straw, that's what they're thinking. However, if you simply dig into the compost and add your fresh material into the depression, pull the existing compost and the cover material back over the depression, then put some fresh straw on top, you are essentially doing the same thing (adding fresh straw with each deposit) without "layering" as per lasagna. The point isn't to create "layers." It's simply to add enough drier organic material to absorb extra liquid and to keep the pile covered. If your organic material is wetter, add more drier cover material. Sometimes this means dumping the wetter stuff on top of a bed of straw that has been laid over the depression. When you rake the cover material aside to create the depression, you are also creating the cushion around the sides. The colder it is outside, the more straw on top as an insulator. The heavier the rains, the more straw on top as a roof. Etc.

Author: Shadyseattle (Shadyseattle)
Saturday, January 25, 2014 - 10:01 pm
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From:
humanurehandbook.com/downloads/Chapter_8.pdf
"We [four people] go through about ten bales of straw or hay each year"

Elsewhere you say not to layer straw etc in the big pile between adding each week's bucket contents. Does using straw for the 'biological sponge' and to surround the pile and cover the top, require all ten bales? If not, what is the rest of the straw used for?

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