Thursday, January 23, 2014

Composting in place

I've written before about the difficulties I've had getting grass to grow in my back yard.  Part of the problem is that the chickens eat whatever I put down.  The other problems are a lack of sun and poor soil.  So, I'm attempting to improve the soil.

I get a lot of leaves in my yard in the fall.

This year rather than hauling the leaves to my compost bins, and hauling the compost back to my yard, I thought I'd try composting in place.

I gave in and finally bought a leaf blower/vac.  I don't know if it was actually faster than using a rake, but it was much more satisfying.  The leaf blower has a vacuum attachment.  It'll suck up, shred, and bag the leaves.  Once the bag got full I dumped it in a low spot in my yard. 

The next part of the plan involves the chickens.  They're always getting into stuff, so I figure why not let them turn the compost pile (Joel Salatin does the same thing with pigs on a much bigger scale).  I don't know if it'll work or not, but I thought it'd be worth trying.
I've been throwing oats, and bird seed into the leaves.  They scratch, peck and turn it over.  I'm sure they're adding plenty of their nitrogen filled byproduct along the way. 
This is a wider shot of the area.  It's a low spot in the yard where I've never gotten grass to grow.
I don't know how well this is going to work.  Only time will tell.  I'm hoping that in a few months I'll have something that resembles soil and that I'll be able to grow some grass in it.

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