Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Numerous Reflections From The Rochester Compost Pile

I wrote an article last year about people I have met and the funny things they do at the compost pile. This is a continuation of that theme.

I got approximately 150 pickup loads of compost this last growing season at the waste to energy facility in Rochester. So I am down there a lot. This season was a bit unusual in that I got several loads of compost just last week. The weather was so mild that I could apply it without worrying about frost.

Here  are some stories from the folks I have met at the pile...

One of the most helpful people I have encountered, was a father and son who had just finished loading a trailer of compost for their garden. I was just getting started loading and they offered to help. The son was working on a merit badge for being an eagle scout. So I said sure that would be helpful. My shoveling arm ached a little that day as I'd already shoveled 12,000 lbs of compost earlier in the day. I was thinking I might get a half load or something along those lines. Well between the three of us we had a nice full load in record time. That was great timing for me and I thanked them for their kindness.

Towards the end of the season there were some newbies getting a whole pickup full of compost. They didn't speak very good English so the lady at the scale house "deputized" me to remind them they had to be done loading at 4:30. They were making good progress so at 4:25 I reminded them they needed to finish up. They promptly complied. Always happy to help out.

Looks can be deceiving, some times they process compost that is not mature towards the end of the season. It will sit over the winter and cure. There are a lot of people who go for this immature compost and will not be happy with the way it performs in their garden. The reason people like this compost is it is fluffy and easy to work with. But because it is not completely broken down it ties up all the nutrients in the soil and is very poor at germinating seeds. I have encouraged a lot of people to set the green compost aside and use the mature compost elsewhere in the facility. I think the compost site should have a information sheet for their customers that explains this.

Humerous reflections from the compost pile. For more stories see the original article.

Ideas for the Rochester compost pile. Here are some ideas for improving the Rochester compost facility.

Black gold, the value of compost. A more in depth discussion of the value of compost.

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