Thursday, July 24, 2008

Fertility Systems: Compost

As a community, Sterling College generates roughly 20,000 pounds of organic waste per year--waste that includes kitchen scraps, garden residue, grass clippings, manure, bedding, and mortalities. All the organic waste is captured in a holding and mixing area then brought out to a working pad where the pile can be adjusted to achieve a carbon to nitrogen ration somewhere around 30:1. Students learn how to manage the pit, drive a tractor, run a PTO-driven manure spreader and "spin the load" to build a pile. Once the pile heats to around 130 degrees farenheit, the pile will be turned to continue the aerobic respiration process. In a few months, the finished compost will be delivered to the gardens with horses and applied via a ground driven spreader.

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