• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

concrete pad?

 
neil mock
Posts: 67
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

we make alot of compost. it was suggested that we should install a concrete pad to compost on top of. The person suggesting it is affraid of subsurface soil/water contamination. i have always belived that the contact between the native soil microbes and the active pile is helpful. opinions? thanks
IMG_1013.JPG
[Thumbnail for IMG_1013.JPG]
 
Chadwick Holmes
pollinator
Posts: 618
Location: Volant, PA
27
forest garden fungi goat trees wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Are you composting things that can "contaminate" anything?

It is really hard to contaminate soil with organic matter, microbe exchange is a good thing as well, my opinion is, as long as the answer to the above question is no then you can only contaminate a poor soil with health.
 
neil mock
Posts: 67
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

we compost tons of stuff others would keep out (meat (raw and cooked), citrus peels, animal bedding, news print), but it is all organic matter. we compost in one area, they were concerned with the long term impact of the area.
 
Chadwick Holmes
pollinator
Posts: 618
Location: Volant, PA
27
forest garden fungi goat trees wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hmmm, ok, is this your land, shared communal area, or public property?

How far is this site from any surface water, creek, stream, river, etc.?

Do you know what depth your groundwater level is compared to this site's grade? Any perk test results that you know of?

These are some factors in the risk of contamination, so if some of these are pushing limits then it "technically" has a higher risk.

 
neil mock
Posts: 67
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

we own the land.

the compost area is on the ridge of a hill (10-15 Meters above the surronding pasture), the composting starts at the top of teh hill and gets turned down (~every 2 weeks). it is 75 meters from a drainage ditch (that drains to one of our ponds) and at least 250-300 meters from the river. the soil is heavy clay. during heavy rain times, the pasture at the base of the hill ponds.

we have the area covered, so we dont have much runoff coming off the piles.

the picture attached is old (does not show the roof that has since been built). but it sorta gives you an idea of the lay of the land.
IMG_4253.jpg
[Thumbnail for IMG_4253.jpg]
 
Chadwick Holmes
pollinator
Posts: 618
Location: Volant, PA
27
forest garden fungi goat trees wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I really think you are fine, and it sounds like you have taken placement seriously, from what I see and you have told us, I just don't see a very high risk of contamination, and the materials are super low risk materials so....the reality of affecting your watershed negatively is nil.

Now with added bacterial and fugal life your soil will breakdown nitrates and nitrites much more readily. I think you will have a positive impact if any at all at the distance from surface water.

I am interested to see what other folks think as well.
 
Thekla McDaniels
gardener
Posts: 1605
Location: Grand Valley of Colorado's Western Slope
80
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Neil,

looks like Chad did a pretty good job of answering your concerns. I just have a couple of questions:
Are those blue things paper egg containers? At first I thought they were styrofoam.
And where do you get that volume of stuff to compost?
Thanks
Thekla
 
Julia Winter
steward
Posts: 1770
Location: Moved from south central WI to Portland, OR
141
bee bike chicken food preservation hugelkultur urban
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm glad to see you've got some chickens helping you with this task! Have you seen geoff lawton's video about Vermont Composting?
 
Matu Collins
Posts: 1976
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
69
bee books chicken forest garden fungi trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I see no benefit to a concrete pad or source of contamination from the compost. Free ranging chickens pooping all over, that could be a source of bacteria, but if they have plenty of space I don't think that's a problem either.

It sounds like this person needs some good compost science education.
 
neil mock
Posts: 67
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

We collect waste from four resturants. Yes, the blue things are egg cartoons. we try to reuse them, but the soiled ones end up in the compost. we are always in search for more "browns".

We cover the piles with plastic sheets after week 6 (week 6-10). It was originally to keep the chickens from speading the mostly finsihed/finished product all over the place. But also to keep the fresh chicken manure out of teh finished pile. The chickens get no feed, only what they find in the compost.

thanks for the feedback.
 
Chadwick Holmes
pollinator
Posts: 618
Location: Volant, PA
27
forest garden fungi goat trees wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Do you ever find funny things in it, like a random fork or spoon?

I know restaurant workers scrape enough plates off to miss one here or there.
 
Thekla McDaniels
gardener
Posts: 1605
Location: Grand Valley of Colorado's Western Slope
80
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Chadwick Holmes wrote:Do you ever find funny things in it, like a random fork or spoon?

I know restaurant workers scrape enough plates off to miss one here or there.


good one! I'm laughing out loud, imagining what else might be coming from the restaurants.
 
neil mock
Posts: 67
1
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

yes, we get spoons, forks, ects. so many, i have started nailing them to the fence as decoration.

the things i hate to see (but are getting better with more education in the kitchens we work with) single serve butter containers and plasticfied sugars packets.
 
Chadwick Holmes
pollinator
Posts: 618
Location: Volant, PA
27
forest garden fungi goat trees wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I think we should require a picture of the fence decoration!

Yeah the plastic would get old, but I feel like a would smile at a spoon or fork.....
 
Angelika Maier
Posts: 767
Location: cool climate, Blue Mountains, Australia
4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Compost does better in contact with the soil underneath. Did the person suggesting you the concrete slab ever think how environmentally unfriendly concrete is?
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!