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Unbelievable theft!  RSS feed

 
Nancy Troutman
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Location: Swanton, MD
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I had 3 compost piles.   One I was adding to, One that was composting, and one that I was taking from.   Notice the past tense?

You know you are doing something right when someone steals all your compost.  And I do mean all of it.  Happened sometime this week, I think the last time I was at the compost area was last Thursday or Friday.
 
Judith Browning
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Nancy Troutman wrote:I had 3 compost piles.   One I was adding to, One that was composting, and one that I was taking from.   Notice the past tense?

You know you are doing something right when someone steals all your compost.  And I do mean all of it.  Happened sometime this week, I think the last time I was at the compost area was last Thursday or Friday.


That's terrible...compost is such precious stuff
Do you think someone just backed up a truck and loaded it up?  at your house?

I'm thinking you aren't going to get much help if you report it, but you probably should do so.....
 
Nancy Troutman
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It is possible to get to my compost piles with a pick-up without me seeing it because of dirt roads cut into the forest back in the prohibition days.   The trails are called Whiskey Runs by locals - because they were used to flee from Revenuers back in the days.   My next-door neighbor has a gate blocking vehicle access from the road to the trails, but that gate has been left open because of logging on his property.

I am so rural that, if you need to call 911, call your neighbor instead.   Police take about an hour to get here.   And reporting it won't get the compost back.

I am not sure how I am going to handle compost now.   Reading some of Paul's notes, a lot of carbon & nitrogen is lost via composting.   I will start re-evaluating how I handle waste now since I will be starting from 0.   I don't want to block the trails going into my property because they are primarily used by equestrians and hikers.   I want to encourage that use.
 
David Livingston
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Have the local authoritys been "tidying up " ?
Sounds like there work to me

David
 
Nancy Troutman
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Location: Swanton, MD
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David Livingston wrote:Have the local authoritys been "tidying up " ?
Sounds like there work to me

David


Thanks for the laugh!    Our "authorities" are too lazy to pick up a shovel.   I have proof.   Drive past any road crew construction site - and you see men there holding up shovels.   I have never seen any of them actually using one though.
 
raven ranson
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Wow, that is unbelievable. 

If you were in the city, I would think it was the city bylaw enforcement getting rid of the rat bait (most cities don't allow open composting because of the rats and other critters it can attract), but they would have sent you a bill for their effort by now. 


I like to trench compost in my kitchen garden (the other gardens are progressing towards no-till, but the kitchen garden is more intensive).  It has the advantages of double digging while adding compost.  I dig a trench the width of my shovel and about three or four feet long and as deep as I can get (loosening a bit of hardpan so to get that to the surface of the soil).  In a new garden, this is about 6 inches, after a year or two of this, it's about a foot, three years it's over two feet.  Next, I put the compost in the bottom of the trench, then I shovel the dirt into the trench from beside (beside the long side), making a new trench for tomorrow's compost.  I do this at any empty space in the garden, so it's harvest, trench compost, rake level and plant seeds.

It's how my great grandfather did it before chemical agriculture came along and I think it's just marvelous.  The compost is gone in about 3 weeks in the spring and fall, and about 6 weeks in winter or summer.  Plenty of time to grow and harvest a crop before starting again. 

We don't get the benefits of heat composting, so no weeds or diseased materials in this.  Although my great grandfather did this with night soil as well, I think I would rather it be composted first.  The big advantage is that I only have to think about the compost once; when I put it in my garden.  No moving it, spreading it, turning it, ageing it, watering it. 


I mention this because when I lived in town, we had an allotment which most people think means 'free for everyone to harvest'.  So we put a big gate on it and there was less pilferage... except compost.  Any compost laying around would be gone by the next morning.  We tried bins, locks, you name it.  But the spirit of the place is that compost, even under lock and key, belongs to the people - which means it belongs to the person who snuck in there late at night under the cover of darkness. 
 
Nancy Troutman
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R Ranson wrote:Wow, that is unbelievable. 

I like to trench compost in my kitchen garden (the other gardens are progressing towards no-till, but the kitchen garden is more intensive).  It has the advantages of double digging while adding compost.  I dig a trench the width of my shovel and about three or four feet long and as deep as I can get (loosening a bit of hardpan so to get that to the surface of the soil).  In a new garden, this is about 6 inches, after a year or two of this, it's about a foot, three years it's over two feet.  Next, I put the compost in the bottom of the trench, then I shovel the dirt into the trench from beside (beside the long side), making a new trench for tomorrow's compost.  I do this at any empty space in the garden, so it's harvest, trench compost, rake level and plant seeds.
 


This sounds interesting to me.   I would say, other than plant material during harvest, most of my compost additions are humanure buckets.   I am under the impression that this is toxic for the first year.   Is there any reason humanure could not be handled your way?   My cover is peat moss, which I have been advised by another permie would be an excellent soil amendment to my soil.
 
raven ranson
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Nancy Troutman wrote:
R Ranson wrote:Wow, that is unbelievable. 

I like to trench compost in my kitchen garden (the other gardens are progressing towards no-till, but the kitchen garden is more intensive).  It has the advantages of double digging while adding compost.  I dig a trench the width of my shovel and about three or four feet long and as deep as I can get (loosening a bit of hardpan so to get that to the surface of the soil).  In a new garden, this is about 6 inches, after a year or two of this, it's about a foot, three years it's over two feet.  Next, I put the compost in the bottom of the trench, then I shovel the dirt into the trench from beside (beside the long side), making a new trench for tomorrow's compost.  I do this at any empty space in the garden, so it's harvest, trench compost, rake level and plant seeds.
 


This sounds interesting to me.   I would say, other than plant material during harvest, most of my compost additions are humanure buckets.   I am under the impression that this is toxic for the first year.   Is there any reason humanure could not be handled your way?   My cover is peat moss, which I have been advised by another permie would be an excellent soil amendment to my soil.


I don't know.  Poo is such a complicated thing that the more I try to understand it the less I do. 

My great grandfather trenched his nightsoil (humanure) directly in the garden (probably not near the carrots).  Keep in mind, he is a pre-industrial farmer, so no meds in the poo, no chemical agriculture, nothing like that to worry about.  I've seen other historical accounts of this kind of thing as well.  However, I don't think I would do it myself as I worry about pathogens, parasites, and medicines that might persist and get on the food. 


How about a sign next to your compost pile? "Danger, Fire Ants" "caution, flesh-eating earthworms" "BEWARE, radioactive"

Doesn't help with the current loss, but might make people think twice next time. 

 
Nancy Troutman
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I purchased a home with standard plumbing.   Whenever I am on medications, which is rare, I use the standard plumbing.   When I come home from a trip where I have by necessity eaten "normal" food on the road, I flush my waste for about 3 days to be sure all toxins are out of my system.   Guests also use the standard plumbing as well.   Frankly, unless I know you eat organic - you are shown the wasteful standard toilet and are not allowed to add to my nightsoil.

The fact that your grandfather used the trench system interests me.   As it happens, I have the nightsoil that I intended to add to the compost still sitting in the bucket.   I think I will test your trench method with it and check it in a few weeks.   If it works, it might be even less work than the compost piles and my soil benefits directly from the carbon.

 
Rebecca Norman
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Yeah, that happened to us, too!

20 years ago when we first started our school on empty desert, we got a truckload of manure from the govt animal husbandry dept in town. Our road was not connected all the way to the school at that point, so we dumped it at the roadhead. Every day we'd go out with backpack baskets and carry loads to the school garden. One day the whole pile disappeared, along with the shovels we'd kept there for loading the baskets. The tiretracks were visible, with a double tire in one end and single in the other, and asymmetrical treads on the tires. We measured the distance between the tires and identified the model. So our students and staff sleuthed it down and found that it was a bus from the village two villages over, and they went and confronted the guy. Apparently he told everyone in his village we must have used magic to identify it. We got the shovels back, but not the shit.
 
Nancy Troutman
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Too funny!   One of my neighbors suggests that I put up this sign.
StolenCompost.png
[Thumbnail for StolenCompost.png]
 
Judith Browning
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hahaha...you'd think they would have noticed something 'different' in the newest pile...
 
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