Question about using cover material

The International Compost Sanitation Forum and Message Board: Humanure Handbook - A Guide to Composting Human Manure: Question about using cover material
Author: Joe Jenkins (Joe)
Monday, February 18, 2008 - 8:32 pm
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My ancestors are squirming in their graves...

Author: Michael Simpson (Mik)
Monday, February 18, 2008 - 6:47 am
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Good stuff! Glad to hear that I'm heading in the right direction :-)

Btw, Joe you will be happy (?) to know that we have christened our new eco-potty the 'Jenkins'. e.g. 'I'm just going off to use the Jenkins' is a common saying around the home... hope you don't mind...

The old flusher, however, has been christened the 'Queen Victoria'...

;-)

Author: TCLynx (Tclynx)
Friday, February 01, 2008 - 7:38 pm
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Michael,
If you feel that the inner core of the pile is getting anerobic, you can always poke it with a stick a bit more often but as Joe says, you are doing fine. The odor when you dig into the pile can sometimes be interesting though after a week of being in the pile the stuff usually doesn't smell anything similar to the odor of a freshly dumped bucket.

Author: Joe Jenkins (Joe)
Sunday, January 27, 2008 - 12:22 pm
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You do not need to leave straw between the deposits. Having a layer of straw surrounding the contents is ideal. It sounds like what you're doing is correct.

Author: Michael Simpson (Mik)
Wednesday, January 23, 2008 - 10:14 pm
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Hi there Joe,

Thanks very much for your reply regarding salinity. I just have one more short query regarding using the cover material - I'm using barley straw.

This is what I have been doing is when each time I empty the buckets (2-3 buckets and the kitchen compost in one go, about once every 8-10 days):

1. I rake aside the cover material,
2. make a depression using a rake into the compost pile,
3. empty all the buckets,
4. then rake back the cover material, and add a little more on top.

My question is whether you actually need to leave some straw in the actual compost pile between the compost heap and the fresh deposit? I'm not quite clear that what I'm doing is correct, as what I am doing has resulted in the pile being sort of 'surrounded' by the straw cover material, rather than having layers of straw through the actual humanure heap. I'm starting to notice a slightly acidic smell when I rake aside the cover material (it doesn't smell nasty, it more smells a bit like those plastic anerobic composting chambers that are popular with people living in the city, I used to use one for kitchen scraps only).

Anyway it would be great to hear some brief advice, that would be great.

Cheers!

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