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OfflineLivingston
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Re: Composting for Dummies [Re: Doc_T]
    #10710943 - 07/20/09 05:46 PM (14 years, 9 months ago)

hey Doc_T,

Quote:

Doc_T said:
The starter microbes come from the poo, I believe. Without a source of poo, you'll have to supplement those somehow.




No not really.  They come from the air and the soil the compost pile is placed upon.  And from the materials used to make the compost pile.  Even if the materials used to make the pile were devoid of microbes the pile would still compost from the microbes in the air and from the soil...


--------------------
Peace and Pasta :mushroom2:

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OfflineLivingston
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Re: Composting for Dummies [Re: j_sun]
    #10710962 - 07/20/09 05:50 PM (14 years, 9 months ago)

Hey,

Quote:

j_sun said:
If your looking to start  a new compost pit your best bet would be to just get a bag of finished composted manure from your local home supercenter.  It will be full of beneficial microorganisms ready to consume your lawn and food waste.




I highly doubt that!  I have never seen a single bag of compost at any supercenter or any ag store for that matter.  Just cuz' they call it compost doesn't make it compost.  And if it's in a bag for any period of time over a few days the microbes are either going to die or become dormant and anaerobic microbes might take over.  Same deal with vermicast from a store, if it's in a sealed bag it's dead...that's a good basic rule to follow...


Quote:

j_sun said: Worms kick our butt at composting plus you get casings for free!




Worms don't make compost, and they don't compost.  They make vermicast.  To make compost there must be heat and microbial action.

HTH


--------------------
Peace and Pasta :mushroom2:

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OfflineLivingston
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Re: Composting for Dummies [Re: Lennyk]
    #10710978 - 07/20/09 05:54 PM (14 years, 9 months ago)

hey,

Quote:

Lennyk said:
Could always pick up one of those turnable ones for a couple hundred bucks (not cheap but work fast and easy)




IMO they work for crap.  A 3'x3'x3' bin made from chicken wire is perfect for compost.  This way air has access to all sides (except bottom) and the minimal size for compost is reached.


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Peace and Pasta :mushroom2:

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Offlinehoudinihar
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Re: Composting for Dummies [Re: Livingston]
    #10710995 - 07/20/09 05:59 PM (14 years, 9 months ago)

i have a plastic bin (garbage trash can, about 50 gals, with a lid--no holes there) and it has holes 1/2" drilled all over the place for air antry to help prevent anerobic conditions. i put straw and kitchen material inside and let it rip. i keep the bin in the shade and turn the insides every few days. can make compost fast.

houdinihar

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OfflineLivingston
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Re: Composting for Dummies [Re: Olgualion]
    #10711003 - 07/20/09 06:02 PM (14 years, 9 months ago)

Hey,

Quote:

Olgualion said:
Not all composts are the same!  Many factors are involved, such as what goes into it and just what breaks it down.




Sooo true! :smile:


Quote:

Olgualion said:
In TMC it says that the purpose of composting is to create a nutritious environment capable of selectively sustaining mushroom mycelium while at the same time making the environment unsuitable for competitor organisms(paraphrased).




No, not really.  When composting we are trying to break down organic matter into humus state.  It's not about selectively sustaining mycelium, but it is about killing harmful microbes.  All finished compost will support mushroom mycelium just fine...



Quote:

Olgualion said:
The main ingredient in this type of composting is straw (wheat generally preferred).




Again, I think TMC got some things confused or Paul did a poor job explaining it.  sure, wheat stray is a good source of carbon, but it shouldn't be the 'main' material used.  It must be balanced with nitrogen rich material.  And adding material rich in carbohydrates (ie. cottonseed meal, etc) is wise for compost intended for mushroom farming. 


Quote:

Olgualion said:In TMC, stable bedding is stated as being a preferred starting material.  It says 30-40% of the droppings are comprised of living microorganisms which accelerate the composting process.




I would like to see citations on Paul's info before I believe the 30-40% figure, by what, volume?  Weight?

If the microbes within the bedding are thermogentic they could be useful, otherwise they will be killed.


Quote:

Olgualion said:
To this supplements are added in a specific proportion of carbon:nitrogen.

It is a pretty precise procedure that yields a very selective compost.




YESS!!! Sweet, I'm super stoked to see other people are up on composting :wink:



Quote:

Olgualion said:I've always wanted to make a worm bin to have worms compost my waste food and stuff.




They don't make compost, they make vermicast. 

All the best!


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Peace and Pasta :mushroom2:

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OfflineLivingston
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Re: Composting for Dummies [Re: houdinihar]
    #10711012 - 07/20/09 06:05 PM (14 years, 9 months ago)

hey,

Quote:

houdinihar said:
i have a plastic bin (garbage trash can, about 50 gals, with a lid--no holes there) and it has holes 1/2" drilled all over the place for air antry to help prevent anerobic conditions. i put straw and kitchen material inside and let it rip. i keep the bin in the shade and turn the insides every few days. can make compost fast.




I have doubts it's quality compost, or compost at all. Do you know the starting C:N ratio?

I would like to suggest to anyone who makes their own compost that they get it assayed.  It's super cheap and well worth the price, and then you'll know if you did it right or not!!!

Dr. Elain Ingham PhD runs "Soil Foodweb International" (SFI) and is at the forefront of composting and microbial horticulture.  Check out her site and ask me if you don't know which assay to get.  Or call and talk to the folks at SFI, they are VERY smart!

http://oregonfoodweb.com/



--------------------
Peace and Pasta :mushroom2:

Edited by Livingston (07/20/09 06:06 PM)

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OfflineLivingston
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Re: Composting for Dummies [Re: Olgualion]
    #10711034 - 07/20/09 06:14 PM (14 years, 9 months ago)

Hey again,

Quote:

Olgualion said:
Nice to see you too Cervantes! :smile:

I worry that the final composts structure and nutrient makeup are related to the method used to produce it.




Not as much as the method as the material...


Quote:

Olgualion said:
There are certain types of bacteria that are selectively propogated within strict temperature ranges during the process Stamets talks about in TMC.




It's not that specific microbes (bacteria and fungi) are propgaed at a cretin temperature.  It's that non-thermetic microbes will be killed once the pile reaches thermal death range.  Once that happens the remaining thermal microbes are free to reproduce and begin the composting process.  While most themetic microbes will reproduce in lower temps, they generally thrive in higher temps (~140-180F).


Quote:

Olgualion said:
I wonder if your idea will produce these necessary bacteria and if your end product will be just capable of supporting mycelial growth and fruiting at 60% BE or will it be a wonderful substrate that encourages prolific fruiting at 150% BE.




As long as the starting mix came to about C:N of 30:1 and the moisture content was correct and the thermal death range was reached the final compost should be great.  If those issues were not ideal then the final product will most likely not be compost or very poor compost with bad smells, texture and harmful microbes.



Quote:

Olgualion said:
I wish an awesome compost could be created in our backyards!  I'd definitely do it!  I am very curious to see your results, and wish you success Cervantes!




It can, very easier.  Just read the first posts I made to Cervantes and your all all set.  It's easier than it seems, trust me :smile:.

But, I suggest anyone who is new to making compost get their compost assayed at SFI.  Otherwise you don't know if it's 'good' compost or not:

http://oregonfoodweb.com/

All the best!


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Peace and Pasta :mushroom2:

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OfflineLivingston
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Re: Composting for Dummies [Re: Rose]
    #10711042 - 07/20/09 06:17 PM (14 years, 9 months ago)

Hey,

Quote:

Cervantes said:
Quote:

Lennyk said:

Agar always said a good compost was number 1, while coir was a close 3rd.






Agar has a great recipe for compost too (man, I miss him)... but I'd rather not have to buy things to put in the compost. That kinda' defeats the purpose of a compost pile.




I have to disagree.  I don't like his compost method at all.  Too many fruits and stuff.  The C:N ratio *must* be the most important consideration, everything else is secondary.  Great compost can be made with h.manure (fresh and/or aged) along with fresh and aged lawn clippings and leaves...all for free! :smile:


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Peace and Pasta :mushroom2:

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OfflineLivingston
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Re: Composting for Dummies [Re: Livingston]
    #10711045 - 07/20/09 06:17 PM (14 years, 9 months ago)

Ok...I gotta go now.  I'm looking forward to your experiences Cervantes!


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Peace and Pasta :mushroom2:

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OfflineRoseM
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Re: Composting for Dummies [Re: Livingston]
    #10711313 - 07/20/09 07:29 PM (14 years, 9 months ago)

Once again, Livingston, you broke my brain. Still, most of what you said makes sense. I'm gonna' digest it all and come back with questions.

It is nice to see someone who knows quite a bit about this stuff.

I think DIY compost can become much more popular around here, if people can see a simple way to make it.


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Fiddlesticks.


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OfflineRoseM
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Re: Composting for Dummies [Re: Livingston]
    #10712113 - 07/20/09 09:53 PM (14 years, 9 months ago)

Would you add gypsum after the composting process is finished then?

You listed two sets of ratios... one varied from like 20 to 1 - 40 to 1 with 30 to 1 being ideal... then another list starting at 10 to 1 with 13 to 1 being ideal. What is the difference there between those two sets of optimal ratios?

Also, take a look at this thread's title.

When you have the time, would you mind simplifying your process into one concise post? This place needs a good compost tek and I am not the man to do it.


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Fiddlesticks.


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OfflineLivingston
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Re: Composting for Dummies [Re: Rose]
    #10726909 - 07/23/09 01:14 PM (14 years, 9 months ago)

Hey C,

After a couple of days of constant reading and studding on the process of making 'natural' and 'synthetic' mushroom composts I have come up with something very excellent and unique not found anywhere else!

However, if one is to make true mushroom compost that person must be willing to do a good bit of easy math and lots of playing/adjusting amounts of inputs to reach a certain goal, namely: a C:N ratio of 30:1 to 33:1 and a starting nitrogen content of 1.5-1.7% for natural compost and 1.75-2.25% for synthetic compost...achieving both of those in one pile while *not* using any animal manures or synthetic fertilizers is not an easy task at all...

I did however design an easy to follow method for 'dummies' (as per your title).  This method is gleaned from a few friends and my past experiences.  This method will create a 'normal' compost, not one geared for growing mushrooms.  The biggest difference is the nutrient content of the final compost.

I will post this compost how-to for dummies this week :smile: 

Oh yea, I made a typo.  The pile should never reach 180F, it should never go above 160F. 

Please note that even though 'regular' compost will have a lower NPK rating then 'natural' compost for mushroom growing (h.manure/bedding), it should still have better NPK levels than coco-coir or aged h.manure.  The traditional type of compost for growing mushrooms is 'natural' and the inputs are h.manure and stall bedding.  The NPK of that compost is about 2-1-2.  When scientists where first designing synthetic compost they did so because h.manure was getting more scare and expensive.  Most early attempts at growing mushrooms on synthetic compost have a much lower BE than 'natural' compost.  So that is why today our composts for mushroom culture should have a final NPK ratio of around 2.0-2.5% / 0.5-1.5% / 1.5-2.0%.  See "Preparation of synthetic composts of mushroom culture".


Here are the goals of my 'natural' vegan mushroom compost:
  • 3-4 compost method


  • Majority N within compost as ammonium, not nitrate.  Mycelium uses ammonium better than nitrate (I believe).


  • C:N ratio of 30:1 to 33:1


  • Starting concentration of nitrogen = 1.5-1.7%


  • Ending concentration of nitrogen = 2.0-2.5%


  • Basic NPK goals = 2-1-2-1 (N-P-K-Ca)


  • Strong levels of "linoleic acid" which improves mycelium growth and mushroom yield.  Linoleic acid is thought to what offers benefit from supplementing with vegetable oil (ie. lipids).


  • Ending ammonia content = <0.1-10ppm


  • Ending moisture content = 60-70%


  • No manure of any kind to lower chance of human pathogens begin propagated (ex. E.coli)







Quote:

Cervantes said:
Would you add gypsum after the composting process is finished then?




It is added when the compost pile is mixed up, before composting starts.





Quote:

Cervantes said:
Would you add gypsum after the composting process is finished then?


You listed two sets of ratios... one varied from like 20 to 1 - 40 to 1 with 30 to 1 being ideal... then another list starting at 10 to 1 with 13 to 1 being ideal. What is the difference there between those two sets of optimal ratios?




Higher number is starting (30: to 40:1), lower is finished compost (10:1 to 13:1).


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Peace and Pasta :mushroom2:

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