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"Compartmented" Shed Makes Composting Easy
Why buy fertilizer for your garden if you can make it for free? Joseph Baril, Marlow, N.H., fertilizes his large flower and vegetable gardens at virtually no cost thanks to the “shed” system he came up with for making compost.
  “I pick up dead grass and leaves from my yard in the fall and pile the material in the shed,” says Baril. “I also throw in kitchen waste, but no meat products or things that don’t degrade well such as peanut shells. It takes about 1 1/2 years to convert the material into a compost that is the best fertilizer money can buy.
  “I used to keep piles of leaves, grass and pine needles out in the open, but snow and rain made them soggy and the ground around them got muddy. So I decided to build something that keeps everything dry and is more convenient to use.”
  The shed measures 25 ft. long by 8 ft. wide and is made from structural steel tubing with a metal roof and cement floor. It’s divided into a series of 5-ft. wide bins made from 3/4-in. thick pressure-treated plywood and fitted with swing-out doors. The area between the bins and roof is open on all 4 sides for ventilation.
  Baril dumps material almost daily into one of the bins. If the material is too dry, he wets it down by activating a sprinkler head located above the bin. As the bin fills, he uses his loader tractor to turn the material over every 5 days or so for 6 months. Then he uses his loader tractor to move the material to the next bin, and begins to throw fresh waste in the empty one.
  “I keep turning the material over and moving it into the next bin every 6 months or so until it turns into compost,” says Baril. “The more I turn over the material, the faster it decomposes. At one point the material in one bin will be ready to use, while the other two will be at raw and intermediate stages.”
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Joseph Baril, P.O. Box 292, Marlow, N.H. 03456 (ph 603 446-2292; joe@barils.com).

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2014 - Volume #38, Issue #3