Just a quick general warning about dormant compost piles that are aging for a year before excavation. I made a mistake on my first pile which had about 4 months of use when I let it go dormant. I used this pile in the first summer until the fall and cover material was originally old hay but then was long grass pulled out of the field that the pile is built in. The next year before excavation time the whole pile seeded to sod and it both used up some of the compost and made it difficult to retrieve the rest. This may be a one off problem with this particular pile but it is something that I will guard against in the future.
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