From what I understand, the Jean Pain method used only wood chips. There were probably leaves and bark involved from the chipping process. Chips are important because they have some air spaces to allow air though the pile. Manure would heat it up quickly but it could block air flow (as could leaves and grass). Coiling a perforated pipe underneath allows air in.
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I looked into this extensively, and there is four ingredients that is needed for hot composting. Jean Pain only used wood chips because he was a forester and not really trying to create home heat, he was trying to find a creative use for precommercial thinnings that made for proper forestry. He was sound in his thinking, before his time, and very permie in thoughts; get a secondary, every day use from something that should be done (proper forest management) anyway.
But that did not mean he got the ultimate in high heat.
Ideally the mix should be about 50% woody debris and 50% green plant debris. This is what we used on the dairy farm to compost dead cows and the bones would be creamated in about 2 months time. Cow manure is not a good product because like biogas production, by the very nature of the digestive system of the cow, the best parts of the food the cow has been given has been burned off in the form of energy.
But beyond wood and grass (wood chips and hay), you need lots of air, and a LOT of water.
So just make a non compacted pile of hay and wood chips and make sure it is drenched, and she'll cook.
I'll see if I can find a picture of one of my compost piles on fire. They can get that hot!
Jean Pain was using the thinnings from his forestry management system of the trees , the green twigs ,leaves and smaller diameter branches---brown and green stuff -- plus brush cleared from firebreaks--not really chipped up but more of a tearing shredding process in the length --- in his own specifically designed /built machine---to maximise surface area for bacterial action to kick start quicker---and in huge piles /mounds of material , he was in the 50 to 60 ton of stuff at a time.
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