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Useable compost from chestnut burrs this growing season?

 
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Given we have been ordered to stay at home, we decided to use the time to get some chores done that were neglected last fall.

We have two chestnut trees in our front yard (they were here when we moved in) and decided to run them through the chipper as I have done in previous years. This year I’d like to compost them and my raspberry prunings (also chipped) as quick as possible.  Any suggestions?  I do have some old (3-4 years) chicken manure that I could add to the pile.  Can get grass clippings and comfrey as soon as it starts growing.  In the past I’ve just let the chipped burrs sit in a pile until the had decomposed enough to use as mulch but I desperately need compost this season as I am planning on increasing the number of garden beds we currently have.
 
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Michelle,

You seem to have the basics covered pretty well.  You have grass, comfrey, woody trimmings all chipped up.  That’s pretty good.

Off hand I can think of two things that can really get soil getting healthy.

Option one is to get an aggressive fungus like oyster mushrooms or wine caps going.  You will need to get the spawn first, but wow do they make a difference.

Option two is not for everyone.  Have you considered using your own urine as a fertilizer/compost activator?  It is high in nutrients and if aerated properly, does not smell.  I always apply mine diluted, mostly to make it spread further.

These are just two thoughts—you are already off to a great start.

Eric
 
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Maybe make biochar with the burrs?
Chipped,  they should be a good fuel for a TLUD style biochar stove.
 
Michelle Heath
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Eric Hanson wrote:Michelle,

You seem to have the basics covered pretty well.  You have grass, comfrey, woody trimmings all chipped up.  That’s pretty good.

Off hand I can think of two things that can really get soil getting healthy.

Option one is to get an aggressive fungus like oyster mushrooms or wine caps going.  You will need to get the spawn first, but wow do they make a difference.

Option two is not for everyone.  Have you considered using your own urine as a fertilizer/compost activator?  It is high in nutrients and if aerated properly, does not smell.  I always apply mine diluted, mostly to make it spread further.

These are just two thoughts—you are already off to a great start.

Eric



Thank you.  I like the mushroom idea but not really wanting to spend much money at the moment since our small business has been halted by the virus.  The urine I could do, or at least my husband could as he’s drawn to the great outdoors so to speak.  :)  Of course he also takes so many meds that I’d honestly be afraid to use his urine.  So, looks like I will give it a try.  
 
Michelle Heath
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William Bronson wrote: Maybe make biochar with the burrs?
Chipped,  they should be a good fuel for a TLUD style biochar stove.



Hmmm...  biochar is new to me.  Will look into it.  Thank you.
 
Michelle Heath
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Eric Hanson wrote:Michelle,

Option one is to get an aggressive fungus like oyster mushrooms or wine caps going.  You will need to get the spawn first, but wow do they make a difference.

Eric



Eric, I have been reading through some threads that mention making a mushroom slurry. Have you tried this in place of ordering spawn?
 
Eric Hanson
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Michelle,

I have not used a slurry.  I am afraid that I have minimal skill at id’ing mushrooms.  I was suggesting wine caps because they are like mushroom training wheels.  The last time I ordered a block of spawn it cost $25.  But if money is tight (and I totally get that), why not try a slurry?  I mean what have you to lose?

BTW, if you are ok with urine, I typically use a plastic cat litter container (which are 2.5 gallons), pee into them for a day.  The cat litter container is convenient because it has a wide mouth and a screw on cap which makes peeing into it easier and less messy.  After a day of peeing, I fill up the rest with tap water and go and disperse.

With those two covered, I have to say I like the idea of biochar.  

Eric
 
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