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looking for browns  RSS feed

 
neil mock
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we get compostable material from four restaurants. the material arrives 3 days/week. the problem i am having, generating enough brown materials for a balanced mixture. we use dried grass clippings, dried leaves, animal bedding (horse and chicken), saw dust, cardboard and newsprint. i am saving up for a wood chipper, but it is still many months away from a reality.

any ideas for brown materials?

thanks

 
Bryant RedHawk
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Sounds like you have browns thought out pretty well. I get moldy hay for free from farmers that need a way to get rid of it.
One method of composting that you might consider for the type of materials that come from restaurants is vermicomposting. In the end you get wonderful worm castings, they don't take up much space and the worms do a great job of getting rid of the "raw" materials.
With the quantities you must be getting you would need several bin setups and at least 10 lbs. of worms to get going well. Using heaps and vermicomposting you should be able to get lots of great compost.
 
David Good
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Shredded office paper works (though sometimes has weird stuff in it), and another great source is beside the road in fall. I once picked up over 50 bags of leaves around my neighborhood from the neighbors chucking it.

If you save tons when the leaves are falling, you'll have a steady supply to bank up your greens.

If all else fails, just start burying the greens in trenches and planting on them later.
 
neil mock
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worms would not work for us, all the restaurants make orange juice. i would guess 15-20% of the total material is citrus. from what i have read, not good for worms.

you need seasons to have mass leaf drop. we don't have those.

i might have found some material. i met with a small coffee roaster, i think i can get the chaff form the beans.

thanks for the ideas.
 
David Good
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"you need seasons to have mass leaf drop. we don't have those."

That sounds great. I grew up in S. FL and love the tropics. One day I will return to them.

Good score on the coffee material. Sugarcane scraps might also work.
 
Rebecca Norman
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neil mock wrote:
you need seasons to have mass leaf drop. we don't have those.


Where are you located?
 
David Good
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Looks like he's in Columbia. Oh heck yeah... coffee!
 
neil mock
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yes. but not in the coffee growing region. we are higher up the mountains, ~3000 meters.
 
Ronnie Ugulano
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For the past few months, we have been stopping by our local lumber supply. If you bring your own plastic bag, they will give you access to their sawdust pile and you can load up, so we go every week, get a couple of bags of sawdust. We've got so much now, we can afford to let some of it simply rot a bit before it goes to the worms.

So could you do something similar? If you're bringing home so much green material, you could pile up a green-brown mixture, wet it down, and let it heat up. in a week or two, you can cycle it through your worms.
 
Paul Oveisi
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Location: Austin, Tx
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I post a request on social media for dead leaves and within minutes I get more than I can use. I swing by whoever lives closest and grab as many bags as I can. Most folks are relieved to get em off their hands. Between my pals bags of leaves and coffee shop grounds, I have enough browns and greens to compost indefinitely. I add in my own kitchen scraps and yard trimmings but the off site stuff is a vast majority of what I'm collecting. Hope that helps.
 
john mcginnis
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neil mock wrote:
we get compostable material from four restaurants. the material arrives 3 days/week. the problem i am having, generating enough brown materials for a balanced mixture. we use dried grass clippings, dried leaves, animal bedding (horse and chicken), saw dust, cardboard and newsprint. i am saving up for a wood chipper, but it is still many months away from a reality.

any ideas for brown materials?

thanks



Call the landfill. Many cases the tree trimmers dump there as well. Many landfills also compost or provide mulch to the public to reduce waste in the fill.
 
David Creed
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I bought a second hand shredder off gumtree, the best £25 I have spent in a long time, damp/wet corrugated cardboard in summer and leaves in the autumn and I am getting around 30lbs of coffee grounds per week from a local supermarket café, we have a wood burner so there is always lots of sawdust around for the mix, cheers Dave
 
dan long
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Dont overlook the potential to grow your own browns. I assume your compost is going towards growing some crops, right? Many of the things I grow leave behind lots of brown material aside from the part i harvest myself. Trees drop leaves, corn and sorghum leave husks, leaves and shafts, pumpkins and squash leave vines and leaves, eggplant, tomato, basil plants and many more are definitly on the "brown" side when they reach the end of thier productive life and go into the compost bin. The list goes on and on. You could make a point to intentionally grow more crops that will provide enough browns to balance out your greens.
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