TAFE & SAGE — First produce from the SAGE site

The cover crop of vetch and lupins at the SAGE site was slashed on 13th September and allowed to wilt. We collected a ute load of this green manure and used it as the basis for our next compost heap. A small amount of horse manure was added along with 3 bales of straw (for dry matter) and one bale of lucerne hay. The green manure was so springy we had to compact it slightly which is not the norm for composting.

No lime or mushroom compost was added to this batch to test what the pH will be from purely natural materials.

Testing of mushroom compost had shown very high pH levels of up to 8.5, which is almost the same as pure ground limestone.

We will be using it with caution in the future.

TAFE students and SAGE members pile up the vetch and lupins harvested from the SAGE site for a huge compost pile

Building the mother of all compost heaps

The compost builders pose around their enormous pile of green waste and other organic matter

We reckon this will get very hot

This compost heap was turned after 1 week. It was VERY hot – around 70 degrees C and was almost too wet. it also had a very “rich” aroma even though very little manure had been used. The vetch would appear to be the source of a lot of nitrogen in the pile.

On the second turning the core was at 65 degrees and the moisture had stabilised.

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