Compost ingredients?

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What do y'all put in your compost. Our pile is fairly far from the house, and we don't have a garbage disposal, so I put most everything in there--all organics (veggie cuttings, scrapings from the plates, oils, meat trimmings, etc]. But I've heard that one should stick to vegetable material. Is this so? Why?
Andrew
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http://faq.gardenweb.com/faq/lists/soil/2000042647001285.html
That may help you.
Fito
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Fito wrote:

Hmmm, I'm in the market to try one this fall myself and from what I've read elsewhere one should turn the compose fairly often. How does one do that if you make a round wire affair as suggested in this FAQ?
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On Wed, 30 Jul 2003 21:53:41 -0600, John DeBoo

Pull up the wire circle - pull it off the compost. Or un-hitch it so it's not a circle anymore.
Move the wire circle to a new spot. Fork the compost into the new spot.
We use a wire fencing circle for compost too, but we just leave it, all this forking business is too much work - it will slowly decompose all by itself. Slowly.
Pat
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Yep, we do the same. Our piles are slower but have always performed well over the years.
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Pat Meadows wrote:

that would do a faster or better job than wire?
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On Thu, 31 Jul 2003 19:14:18 -0600, John DeBoo

I think it would be nice to have a compost heap made out of pallets (or other wood).
I have usually seen them in the shape of a letter 'E' - so that there are two compartments and you fork the compost from one compartment to another.
This requires that you buy or find pallets or wood, however, and do some basic carpentry.
I'll probably stick with the wire fencing, at least for now. We have too many other projects with higher priority than making a better compost container, unfortunately.
Pat
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Pat Meadows wrote:

I've used pallets for years. I use those metal fence posts that cost about $3 at the hardware store to support them. Pallets can be found most anywhere, so the entire set-up costs me no more than about $15.
Basically I stand a pallet on its end, and put the post down the middle. The pallets aren't tied together in any way so there's no need for anything other than a hammer, the pallets, and the posts. Takes about fifteen minutes to put it all together.
Andrew
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On Fri, 01 Aug 2003 09:20:41 -0500, Andrew McMichael

This is really frustrating for me, as - look though we have - we've NEVER found a free pallet.
I'd certainly like to have some. *Where* do you find them?
Pat
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Pat Meadows wrote: >

I was having the same problem. I was tooling down the boulevard here in Connecticut and I spotted a bunch of nice pallets behind a Sears Tool store. I inquired and they gave me all I could cart off in my pickup. The Sears people were very nice and the pallets are all new and they even match.
I have since noticed there aren't always pallets there. I think I just got there on the right day.
Hope that helps.
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another good place to check is grocery stores. They tend to get lots of stuff in on pallets. Smaller town stores are best, as some of the larger ones have special returnable skids they send back with thier own trucks...
Central IL small garden, but do my best!
email: daveallyn at bwsys dot net please respond in this NG so others can share your wisdom as well!
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John DeBoo wrote:

I work in Westland, MI. I can get you all you want just for the picking up.
It grinds my guts but we have been throwing away 5/4 oak pallets the past couple of weeks. That is, the runners and bottom boards are 1 1/4 inch thick solid oak and the top is 5/8 exterior plywood. Makes me sick just thinking about it. A couple weeks ago my car caught fire and I have to ride my bike for now. By the time I get wheels under me again, likely the oak will be gone. :-(
Bill
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Around here most pallets are made from junk trees, like cottonwood. If someone's making pallets out of oak, they must be using the scraps that weren't good enough for anything else, or logs that were too crooked to make a long enough board. A good oak log is worth way too much as quality lumber to be using it for pallets.
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Aaron
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Your local lumberyard may give away their damaged pallets for free. Ours does. Also, if you live near a shipping port, you can get pallets and wooden shipping containers made out of hardwoods (mahogany anyone?) for free, if you're a good scrounge.
Jan
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On Wed, 30 Jul 2003 12:31:12 -0500, Andrew McMichael

I think it's because meat scraps, bones, etc. will encourage animals to feed from the compost (rats, mice, whatever).
I don't put meat or oils in the compost for this reason - also ours is pretty close to the house and I don't want the smell of rotting meat.
Pat
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I had problems with neighborhood cats and things. But I understand that if you BURY the stuff deep inside the pile, it's not that much of a problem. Also, I read in "let it rot", the master work on composting, that things with oils and fats sort of act like a varnish or waterproofing layer, and that slows down the bacteria from breaking things down. If you're going to use meat products, try to keep from using a lot of stuff with fat. I suppose drained meats, or low fat meats and bones, if you bury them deeply would be ok. Still, I'd add at least a couple of weeks to the composting process, just to make sure that the bacteria has "eaten" up the meats and oils and stuff. They can do it, it just takes a little bit more time.
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A local dairy farmer sells compost and manure. Guess where his dead cows go!

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Not in the manure/bedding, unless he wants a lot of trouble from (at least!) the local health department.
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One of our cows ran the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.
She got photosensitivity from eating hay with just the right mold in it, the water system quit for a couple of days and the combination was just enough to push her over the edge. We gave her to Jack Berry, for dog food. So she ran the Iditarod six weeks later, as dog food. (She was a really neat cow, so we were bummed about her dying, but jazzed that her carcass went to such good use. Her daughters and granddaughters are the best brood cows in our herd these days.)
Jan
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TomC wrote:

onto the dinner table?
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