Our class made it into the Charlotte News, a small paper for the small town of Charlotte, VT. We took a tour of a compost shed at Charlotte Central School, which was designed and run by two previous students of the class. One of the main goals for the class was always to support people to actually go out and build compost systems. It’s good to see evidence that this is actually happening.
If you know any institutions that are interested in having a class like this, let me know. I am also available for consulting on compost systems from small to large. I’m currently based in Los Angeles, CA and am happy to travel.
I’m happy to say we reached 140ºF. Success! 131ºF is the temperature threshold required by the EPA for commercial composts as part of something called Process to Further Reduce Pathogens, which is often referred to as simply PFRP, to ensure the destruction of weed seeds and pathogens. This pile is made from horse bedding, weeds, brewery waste, coffee grounds, and a little bit of juice pulp and has been sitting for about a week. This particular compost thermometer is not super amazing, as the lowest temperature setting is 80ºF, and you can’t really gauge its accuracy, but it is affordable and has a nice stem for poking into the center of the pile. Since it’s new, let’s assume it’s accurate.
You can see the fervent proliferation of actinobacteria (all the white stuff), which are some of the dominant bacteria in the pile at this heat in the thermophilic phase.
We are starting a composting project at Sarvodaya Farms in Pomona, CA. Last week we shoveled two truckloads full of horse bedding onto the farm. A bunch of weeds were pulled, and a compost pile is born!