Proceeding with the assumption that you decided you are trying to produce high quality organic compost for sale, the following will become very import.
This is a good decision because of rapidly growing “Organic” food industry. To accomplish this, your site must take into consideration that you are actually “microbe farming.” It is the microbes that are converting your feed stock into the highly sought after “compost.”
Not just any microbe, but the aerobic ones.
Aerobic means they need oxygen from the air, verses anaerobic microbes that get their oxygen from water. Anaerobic microbes are much slower and produce a pungent septic tank odor that has closed many sites. Therefore your main task is making the aerobic microbes happy.
They need easy access to food (your feed stock), water which you must provide and Oxygen which you also need to provide. These microbes breathe much like you and I do. They breathe in O2 and breathe out CO2. And water is necessary for life. As the volume of water, measured in percentage, drops so does the life it supports; the microbes.
This information is presented in a format where mostly non-scientific people such as myself, will gain a general grasp of the nature of your venture. The importance of this is to help guide the site layout, machinery required, the frequency of turning as well as an idea how to resolve certain basic issues that develop when any one of the three essential elements are missing.
To produce a high quality and consistent finished product, the equipment you choose must do the following on each and every turn:
- Break up the feed stock and the colonies of microbes that develop
- Mix the material thoroughly, top to bottom right to left and inside out to provide for a consistent end product. That is the same no matter what part of the windrow the product is take from
- Drive out the CO2 and replace it with fresh air. CO2 is heavier than air can unless blown out of the material, it will resettles into the mix
- Allow the material restack on its own, no squeezing the material like a sausage
- Blow lighter contaminates like plastics etc to the outside of the restacked pile
Next time we’ll discuss how the Frontier Turners with its patented drum and paddle design accomplishes all of these.