The Power of Microbes


It’s amazing how much power invisible things have. I started a new compost bin yesterday. Using a 16 foot long by 4 foot wide piece of cattle fencing, I rolled it into a ring 4.5 feet across. I had to wrap it in fine hardware cloth to keep the chickens out. I added one wheelbarrow of poultry bedding, and by the time I returned with a second wheelbarrow, the compost bit was full of chickens. Chickens are great at turning and tearing apart compost piles. They aren’t welcome when you are starting a compost pile. Once I had the compost bin chicken-safe, I filled it with:

  • 2 wheelbarrows of composted poultry bedding
  • 2 wheelbarrows of rabbit bedding
  • 1 wheelbarrow of dried tomato bean vines
  • 4 wheelbarrows of poultry bedding
  • 2 wheelbarrows of forest brush
  • 3 wheelbarrows of comfrey and burdock leaves
  • 1 wheelbarrow of forest floor decomposed leaves

The center of the compost was 60ºF when I put it all together yesterday afternoon. This morning it was 80ºF. I can’t see them, but trillions of microscopic creatures are having a feast, gorging themselves and generating excess heat from dancing through the night. May they party, eat, drink, and dance for a long time.


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