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Turning leaf collection business into a composting business?

 
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Having a difficult Time with video editing software but learning and I pieced together 3 videos to bring you this...
 
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if you're not going to add any greens in there i would think it would be better to spread out your piles so the material would have more contact with the soil , rain and air for it to break down quicker. i wonder if you sprinkled a little cottonseed or soy meal, that might help it break down quicker? nice haul!
 
D. Nelson
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Making more compost mixes
 
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D,

I LOVE your utilization of all those shredded leaves!  I think you are right on about adding in the nitrogen to help break down the leaves into compost.  I kinda wish I had a similar vac/trailer combo and if I did I would be sucking up leaves left and right.

Out of curiosity, have you considered fungal decomposition for at least some of those leaves?  I am obsessive about wine caps and I would think that they would break down your leaves quickly and leave behind wonderful bedding material.

You wouldn’t have to replace all or even most of your bacterial compost, it would just be something to try as you have a LOT of compostable material.  

Great job and please keep the videos coming.  It would also be pretty cool to see how those leaves ultimately get utilized.

Awesome job and keep the videos coming!

Eric
 
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from what I've read, wine caps don't like leaves. I've read it somewhere not to use them in wine cap beds . they prefer wood chips and straws. some being in there would be ok but not pure leaves. fungi will grow on composed leaves . blewits  and parasol mushrooms are ones that do but until broken down some they won't colonize it. good idea using the kombucha leaves! i add my urine  and chicken manure to my leaves and arborists wood chips. makes a fine compost in about 18months here. in our cooler weather it takes longer for things to break down.
 
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I love this as a business model!
We have municipal pickup/composting for leaves in my city,  so the blowing/raking would be the service sold.
Now I'm wondering if I could do this with a riding mower and yard trailer,  just in my neighborhood.
I hate cutting grass,  but it might be worth it I could get people, to pay me, to steal their  fertility...
 
Eric Hanson
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Steve,

I wouldn’t have guessed that wine caps were not up to the task considering the way they went through my woodchips, but this is good information to know.  Perhaps another species is appropriate.

Eric
 
Eric Hanson
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William,

I would imagine that this is a good business model indeed.  You would be able to charge at both ends of the deal, and if all this organic matter breaks down on your property, you can get the benefit of all those microbes as well.

Eric
 
D. Nelson
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Eric Hanson wrote:D,

I LOVE your utilization of all those shredded leaves!  I think you are right on about adding in the nitrogen to help break down the leaves into compost.  I kinda wish I had a similar vac/trailer combo and if I did I would be sucking up leaves left and right.

Out of curiosity, have you considered fungal decomposition for at least some of those leaves?  I am obsessive about wine caps and I would think that they would break down your leaves quickly and leave behind wonderful bedding material.

You wouldn’t have to replace all or even most of your bacterial compost, it would just be something to try as you have a LOT of compostable material.  

Great job and please keep the videos coming.  It would also be pretty cool to see how those leaves ultimately get utilized.

Awesome job and keep the videos coming!

Eric


I would definitely try it if I could find a source for wine cap mushrooms. Any idea where I can source some? Thanks
 
steve bossie
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Eric Hanson wrote:Steve,

I wouldn’t have guessed that wine caps were not up to the task considering the way they went through my woodchips, but this is good information to know.  Perhaps another species is appropriate.

Eric

i don't know of any that feed on fresh leaves. i know once composted by bacteria and molds, blewits and parasol mushrooms will grow on it. thats why i put blewit spawn into the soil and compost on the edge of the pile.
as it composts the blewit spawn moves in to colonize the compost. then when i spread it around the trees they colonize and grow out of that compost.. even after I've spread a pile of compost, if i put more on the soil where the pile has been the mycelium is still in the top of the soil there and recolonized the new compost pile. tough critters them fungi! ;)
 
D. Nelson
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steve bossie wrote:

Eric Hanson wrote:Steve,

I wouldn’t have guessed that wine caps were not up to the task considering the way they went through my woodchips, but this is good information to know.  Perhaps another species is appropriate.

Eric

i don't know of any that feed on fresh leaves. i know once composted by bacteria and molds, blewits and parasol mushrooms will grow on it. thats why i put blewit spawn into the soil and compost on the edge of the pile.
as it composts the blewit spawn moves in to colonize the compost. then when i spread it around the trees they colonize and grow out of that compost.. even after I've spread a pile of compost, if i put more on the soil where the pile has been the mycelium is still in the top of the soil there and recolonized the new compost pile. tough critters them fungi! ;)


Is there a online source that I can purchase blewits and parasol mushrooms?
 
Eric Hanson
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D,

I can recommend two sources of mushrooms.  The first, best known site is fungi perfecti and is generally considered the gold standard for mushrooms.

I use fieldforest.net, and I can tell you that they are very knowledgeable and helpful.

Good luck,

Eric
 
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as well as above,  I've used everything mushrooms and mushroom mountain. lots of good vids. for ideas and projects with mushrooms.
 
Eric Hanson
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D,

Another option worth considering are oyster mushrooms.  I have not used them before, but I plan to do so soon.  Oyster mushrooms, and blue oysters in particular, are known to be voracious consumers of their substrate.  They seem to consume just about whatever they are placed upon.  

Wine Caps are a great starter mushroom because they do really eat up the wood, and they are not all that particular about placement.  They actually prefer a little dappled sunlight where many other mushroom species need dense shade.  Wine Caps also thrive on neglect.

I plan on trying out oyster mushrooms this summer and I will detail how that progress goes.

Eric
 
D. Nelson
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Very cool and awesome tips. Thank you to everyone for their input!
 
Eric Hanson
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D,

So I am doing a little digging about wine caps and leaf debris.  What I am finding is that the fungal spawn appears to grow and consume the leaves but don’t tend to fruit much.

If your primary goal is to get good quality compost then wine caps might well do the job.  If you are looking for mushrooms to eat, you might only get a couple at best.

For me, the primary goal of the mushroom is the fantastic compost they produce.  The mushrooms are just a tasty bonus.

I will keep digging and see what I can come up with.

Eric
 
steve bossie
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Eric Hanson wrote:D,

So I am doing a little digging about wine caps and leaf debris.  What I am finding is that the fungal spawn appears to grow and consume the leaves but don’t tend to fruit much.

If your primary goal is to get good quality compost then wine caps might well do the job.  If you are looking for mushrooms to eat, you might only get a couple at best.

For me, the primary goal of the mushroom is the fantastic compost they produce.  The mushrooms are just a tasty bonus.

I will keep digging and see what I can come up with.

Eric

if you want to try oysters. elm oysters mycelium is more friendly towards plants roots. i may try some next spring. i also like the taste of oysters over wine caps.
 
Eric Hanson
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Steve,

This is good to note.  Personally, I only ate a small amount of my mushrooms, mostly on account of the fact that they grew SO FAST that it was really hard for me to get them at their prime condition before they either grew huge (and looked like shoe leather) or were eaten by something else.  I really don’t know what liked my mushrooms so much, but I would frequently go out in the morning to look for mushrooms and find that something else had beaten me to them.  The very few I got anywhere near their prime tasted somewhat like a portobello, but nuttier/woodier.

I am really looking forward to trying oyster mushrooms this coming spring.  You said that you suggest elm oysters?  I have heard good things about blue oysters, but at this point I am very open to suggestions.  Wine Caps worked great for my first round and taught me the basics about growing mushrooms (the main lesson was patience), but I am wanting to branch out and oyster mushrooms seem like a great way to go.

And, if oyster mushrooms are a better fit for leaves, who am I to say this is wrong.  Incidentally, as I was reading up on wine caps and leaves, what I could find was that having some degree of “pre-composting”, such as with bacteria might be the best way to get a wine cap to break down the leafy substrate before the wine cap finishes off the job.  Given that D. had a LOT of leaf piles just laying about, I would bet that they already have bacteria and maybe adding a little N and water and time would be just the thing.

Just my ideas,

Eric
 
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Although  compost will happen on its own,  I like the idea of helping it out.
I already plant into compost piles, making  beds out of  pallets, and filling them with everything.
How could one be more methodical about it?
I'm thinking leaves,   potatoes and chickens.

Beds 4 high, 10 feet long,and  40" wide,  would take 8 pallets and some bailing wire to build.
Start with potatoes,  buy them by the sack,  spread them on the ground and cover them with leaves.
Maybe add more after 1 foot of leaves,  more still at 2 feet of leaves, stop pilling up leaves at 3 feet deep.
They may rot, get eaten by voles or they may grow,  but no matter what,  you get some "greens" added to the bed.

Add a "lid" over the bed, just 3 more pallets ,  and rotate chickens through it,  feeding them with sprouted seeds.
Do this until you are ready to plant spring crops, then cap the leaves with finished compost and plant into that.
I'm thinking Austrian Winter peas,  or alfalfa or another nitrogen fixer.
Harvest,  start a summer crop,  or maybe the potato's are peeking out?

I already have 10 plus bags of leaves in my back bed, for the chooks to play in,  so maybe I will try this, no need to build a new bed.
I might even try it in the greenhouse.


 
D. Nelson
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William Bronson wrote:Although  compost will happen on its own,  I like the idea of helping it out.
I already plant into compost piles, making  beds out of  pallets, and filling them with everything.
How could one be more methodical about it?
I'm thinking leaves,   potatoes and chickens.

Beds 4 high, 10 feet long,and  40" wide,  would take 8 pallets and some bailing wire to build.
Start with potatoes,  buy them by the sack,  spread them on the ground and cover them with leaves.
Maybe add more after 1 foot of leaves,  more still at 2 feet of leaves, stop pilling up leaves at 3 feet deep.
They may rot, get eaten by voles or they may grow,  but no matter what,  you get some "greens" added to the bed.

Add a "lid" over the bed, just 3 more pallets ,  and rotate chickens through it,  feeding them with sprouted seeds.
Do this until you are ready to plant spring crops, then cap the leaves with finished compost and plant into that.
I'm thinking Austrian Winter peas,  or alfalfa or another nitrogen fixer.
Harvest,  start a summer crop,  or maybe the potato's are peeking out?
Wow great ideas! Thanks
I already have 10 plus bags of leaves in my back bed, for the chooks to play in,  so maybe I will try this, no need to build a new bed.
I might even try it in the greenhouse.


 
D. Nelson
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I really am more interested in growing mushrooms to eat. A little over a year ago, I purchased a large stainless steel Harvest Right freeze dryer. I'm planning on freeze drying much of what will be coming out of my orchards, garden and mushrooms to boot! I've already done some large batches of Shiitake and Portobella mushrooms. I like variety!

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Eric Hanson
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D,

That is a whole lot of mushrooms you have there!  If it’s actual mushrooms you want, I think you may be ideally suited, what with a lot of potential substrate and a appetite for the shrooms themselves.

Eric
 
D. Nelson
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Eric Hanson wrote:D,

That is a whole lot of mushrooms you have there!  If it’s actual mushrooms you want, I think you may be ideally suited, what with a lot of potential substrate and a appetite for the shrooms themselves.

Eric


What's the whole flag thing about. Last night the screen said I could add up to 39 flags. so I did but really have no idea what they're about.Thanks, Dan
 
Eric Hanson
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D,

So if you have a topic, question, etc. that you really want to bring attention to, you are able to apply as many flags as you have apples.  It is mostly used as a “hey! I have a really important question!  Can someone help me please?”

Eric
 
steve bossie
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D. Nelson wrote:I really am more interested in growing mushrooms to eat. A little over a year ago, I purchased a large stainless steel Harvest Right freeze dryer. I'm planning on freeze drying much of what will be coming out of my orchards, garden and mushrooms to boot! I've already done some large batches of Shiitake and Portobella mushrooms. I like variety!

[/quote ] try any of the oyster mushrooms. i find they taste better than the others I've tried. love them sautéed in butter and garlic! i have a few raised beds made of large maple logs. i inoculated the logs 6 months before using them to make the bed. they have been flushing 2 times a summer for 3 yrs. now. i have summer and fall oysters in there so some fruit in mid summer the others in early fall.

 
Eric Hanson
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D Nelson,

So it has been a few weeks.  I am wondering how your leaf collection and composting going?

Eric
 
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