Urban Composting 101
Posted 03 July 2008 - 07:25 PM
During the third turn, all traces of ammonia had dissipated indicating that nitrogen producing components had been exhausted.
Further, the pile temps have not risen above the ambient thus accomplishing another goal of composting:
Eliminate the pile's heat generating capabilities
I really didn't stress enough at the beginning, but in order to have a successful effort you really need to do the math and start here:
This is an unavoidable step as over/ under supplementation is counterproductive to this effort probably resulting in a compost which is useless for mycelial production. Many thanks to Lazlo for this invaluable reference.
For those following a similar effort, should any traces of ammonia be present at the third turn, wait until temps drop below the 120*F mark prior to turning a fourth time.
At the fourth turn, the compost materials should have a moisture content of 70% +- and have a pH value of 7.0 - 7.5.
Test a representative sample using distilled water so as not to allow inconsistencies with local tap water to interfere with accurate results.
While I use a digital pH meter, there's just no beating simple litmus paper (available at your local brewer's supply in the 5.5 - 8.0 range).
If if moisture content or pH are off a little, continue to turn the pile at two day intervals until these conditions are met.
Keep in mind that our efforts will differ slightly from those outlined in "TMC". Stamets' method deals in TONS of material rather than hundreds of pounds (as is much more likely the case with the humble home cultivator).
Stamets also does not speak of long term storage of compost. He assumes that the reader will immediately put to use these several hundred pounds of ready-to-spawn compost. Nor have I read any other information about long-term storage of our hard won compost.
It is here that I will begin conducting my own experiment and cover this idea in another thread.
It is my hope that this condensed version of countless hours of research and work will inspire other home cultivators to attempt such a simple and rewarding effort.
Posted 05 July 2008 - 10:14 AM
Thanks for the props, man.
Thanks more for the contribution!
I can't take credit for the style, though. It is cribbed from the standard journal publication format (though they tend to take less pics).
Posted 06 July 2008 - 11:36 AM
Posted 06 July 2008 - 11:50 AM
Couldn't have done this without you!
Out of curiosity, after the compost is dried and stored for awhile....
Is the pasteuriztion temp of 135*F still good or should it be increased?
Posted 06 July 2008 - 01:02 PM
You put a meat thermo in a bag and let the oven pasteurize the compost for several hours on it's lowest setting until the thermo reads 165. Once it hits 165, start your one hour time.
Posted 06 July 2008 - 09:02 PM
Would like to try the oven method though since the water bath seems to leach out the "goods".
Is that just a piece of pipe stuffed with poly-fil for ventilation?
Posted 06 July 2008 - 10:23 PM
The bags above are smaller ones that have holes in them. I didn't even notice the damn holes until I had installed the necks into the bags. :lol: I wouldn't have put the necks in with those holes being in there.