Tag: Composting

Composting in the Back Yard or on a Small Farm

by Eric Sideman, PhDMOFGA’s Organic Crop Specialist Emeritus Composting is a natural, biological process in which microorganisms use organic materials as food and leave a residue of digested organic matter that is almost completely decomposed. Composting is the same as the decomposition that happens to all living things when they die, except that you control

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Natural Sources of Plant Nutrients

by Eric Sideman, PhDMOFGA’s Organic Crop Specialist Emeritus There are two basic approaches to fertilization. The first is to provide required nutrients to each crop in a soluble form that plants can use immediately, i.e., feed the plant. The advantage to this approach is the opportunity to quite accurately meet a crop’s need. The disadvantage

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Grassland Improvement for Gardeners

Grassland – which can include many more species than grasses – is one way nature builds soils. English photo By Will Bonsall The only people who need to care about grasslands are those who keep livestock, right? Wrong! Anyone who cares about sustainable, self-reliant soil maintenance, whether on many acres or in a postage-stamp-sized backyard

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Compost Heated Outdoor Shower at Deer Isle Hostel

Figure 1. A watering can makes a handy shower. The user can easily tip the can to get water as needed. Illustration by George Eaton Figure 2. Loops of poly piping lie in pairs alongside one another, every 4 to 6 inches or so, within the compost pile. Illustration by Dennis Carter By Dennis Carter

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Soil Health Soil Testing and Soil Amending

Rebirth of a Movement By Will Brinton, Ph.D. A renewed national interest in soil health and soil biology is creating an alternative to the long-held chemistry-based mineral theory of soil fertility still dominant today. For about 175 years, soil has been viewed largely as a physical support medium for plants to which mineral nutrients must

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Maine State Prison Farm

A day’s harvest from the gardens in the summer of 2017. Tomatoes growing in pots in the heated greenhouse. Compost being windrowed at the Maine State Prison complex. One of the beehives at the Maine State Prison. By Polly Shyka Photos by the Maine State Prison staff Maine’s maximum security prison in Warren has quite the bustling

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Bokashi A Compost Alternative

Fig. 1 – A VermiTek drain pan. Fig. 2 – The VermiTek drain pan installed Fig. 3 – The completed VermiTek bin with tamper By Adam Tomash Photos by the author I love to compost stuff and have been doing it for 50 years – the last 40 in Maine, with its cold winter. I

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Homemade Bokashi Bucket

A Gamma Seal bucket Holes drilled in the bottom of the top Gamma Seal bucket Italian Bottling Spigot with nut and two washers Drain stopcock installed in the bottom bucket By Adam Tomash Photos by the author My last article on bokashi (the Japanese word for “fermented organic matter” and a way to compost; see

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Innovative System High Tunnel

Rich Schuler, energy consultant with Practical Farmers of Iowa, by the insulated compost bin. Heat from composting warms water which is stored in tanks and available to heat greenhouse soil when needed. Sally Gran runs TableTop Farm, where the innovative heating system was trialed. The compost is aerated by blowing air through PVC pipes set

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Compost

From the Farmer to Farmer Conference • November, 1997 Spring comes. You transplant your seedlings into a potting mix made with your own (or purchased) compost. Your seedlings, which were healthy, green and growing before being transplanted, turn yellow and may even shrink. What went wrong? As participants at MOFGA’s Farmer to Farmer Conference learned from

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