Microbe Wiki!? are you serious!?... I followed the "contaminated grass clipping" link https://permies.com/t/24476/composting/Composting-grass-clippings-treated-lawn#199603
down the rabbit hole which answered many questions I had brewing about this fungal decay/composting synergy we've been discussing. Specifically, which of the saprophytic fungi is the baddest mama-jamma in terms of breaking down lignans?
I like that Phanerochaete chrysosporium leaves behind the cellulose. The heavier woody branches in the pile help keep the pile aerated. After we screen the finished compost we'll toss these bits back in to help keep the pile breathing.
As I started composing this symphony of decomposing movements in my mind...fungal, then bacterial, aerobic and moist etc etc. I realized I was really looking to marry the benefits of leaf mold with the benefits of compost. Seems as though leaf mold is really good stuff in its own right. This thread was really helpful...
Just good ol leaves, broken down by the virtues of ubiquitous fungi yield a very pleasant product HIGH in minerals (but relatively low in nutrients N-P-K) that will increase the cation exchange capacity (CEC) of the soil, impart growth accelerating hormonal ques for plants called gibberellins, and improve soil structure among many other great things.
In terms of achieving this hybrid decomposition I think the key is in keeping the ratio of blended food waste and leaves at 3 to 1 or higher and keeping an approx 18” layer of white-rot fungi innoculated leaves over the blended compost pile.
Now, with regard to real life remediation of the persistent herbicides that may lie within the parent material for this compost, whether in the yard waste (mostly leaves) or the food waste...from the thread link above regarding PERSISTANT herbicides...
there are really only two decomposition pathways for this first step: (1) sunlight, which you mentioned in an earlier post, where the UV rays of the sun can break the bond and toss in an oxygen, which then makes it possible to reenter biochemical pathways and (2) cleavage by some oxidative enzyme excreted by a fungus. You already told of the counterproductive aspects of tilling and tilling and tilling, hoping to expose more soil contamination to UV rays. That's really wiping the slate clean before anyone can think of what kind of permaculture they can try to start.
Our plan is to use a manure spreader to cover 3-4 acres of pasture with this compost after running the sickle bar mower through it. After a period of exposure to UV rays (any recommendation as to the time of surface exposure?) we will use a 26” single shank sub-soiler to introduce some of the compost into the subsoil, more evenly distribute water using key-line principles, and begin the reclamation of our strip-mined soils. We'll initially grow grasses, legumes, and tillage radish/turnip here for forage and soil conditioning. THEN, incorporate the cattle and sheep bedding and manure into the composting process.
We have our initial soil tests results but it'll be another 2 months before we have finished compost to test. Penn State can provide this service but I don't know if they are able to test for persistent herbicides. Do you recommend a certain lab?
I'll keep you updated as we see progress.
A million Thank You's for helping me develop a recipe and method for this leaf mold-compost pile project. There's much DOING in front of me.