Compost (Part 1)

Written by Ondrea

April 13, 2021

I’m sure you know from experience or you’ve heard about how good compost is for any gardening project.

And when you have a very large garden you need A LOT of compost!

Knowing the ingredients of what we’re adding to our soil is important to us. Much like knowing the ingredients of the food we eat.

So a year ago we began making our own compost. (More on that next week, in Part 2.)

In the meantime, and while waiting for our own compost to “cook”, we decided to build up our soil quickly by adding several inches of compost on top of each bed. The only problem being the amount we had made was not going to be nearly enough to cover the beds in four hightunnels plus all the outside beds as well.

There is only one major compost supplier in our area that had the amount we thought we needed. So, we arranged for a dump truck load to be delivered to our farm.

At first sight, the compost looked great. But after digging in we discovered it was not what we expected at all. We thought it had been screened and we would be able to shovel it straight into a wheelbarrow to dump and spread on our grow beds.

Not so. Our excitement waned more with each shovelful that had to be sifted. We found plastic water bottles, hunks of metal, and lots of plastic-y strings from who knows what. In total, we filled 2 1/2 buckets of trash and many wheelbarrow loads of unfinished, unusable compost. The finished product is perfect! But the hours it took…

And that amount covered the beds in just one high tunnel! I think we will build up our soil more slowly using the compost of our own making from now on.

Our handy dandy DIY sifter that fits on our wheelbarrow.
Black gold on the right, rejects on the left.

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