Compost,  Food

Mining Nutrients

Fiona and I have spent a couple of days cleaning out our cow shed of last winters bedding and cows muck mix. This litter is compacted and does not compost well so some sort of aeration has to take place to help speed up the process. This year we are putting all the litter in one windrow in an alley designed in to our forest garden, this a two meter wide clear area between rows of trees and shrubs we use for annual crops on a rotation.

First one of us fills the wheelbarrows above Fiona is taking the first shift filling the barrows.

Then I wheel the barrow out to the forest garden and empty it, I still haven’t worked out how to photograph myself so it’s just the wheelbarrow in the picture.

MiningNutrients (3)We are about half way down the alley at this point with half the shed left to empty. I take the second shift filling the wheelbarrows you will have to take my word for it as I still have not worked out how to photograph myself working. Then Fiona barrows the litter out to the forest garden.

MiningNutrients (12)MiningNutrients (16)Fiona is looking cheerful because that was the last barrow of the day.

Once the job is finished the shed will be cleaned ready for the cows to come in for winter. The windrow of litter will naturally decompose with the help of the worms we transported out with the litter and millions of micro organisms already present and yet more who will arrive on the wind and from the soil beneath. By next spring this will leave a deep layer of nutrient rich organic matter to grow annual crops in for the next few years.

We have a new project to install in this area but more on that later.