Guest post by Jay Ross
One constantly pressing need we have on our farm is soil fertility. With our intensive type of farming, close rows, and going back into the same space very quickly, the soil needs constant replenishment. We are always on the prowl for sources of fertility to compost. We already put all our plant material, chicken waste, paper waste, and anything that can be composted, in the compost pile. It is still inconsistent and does not add up to nearly enough for our farm.
We have a friend who will sometimes bring a load of chicken litter, however, most farms use this as fertility on their own land and do not want to spare it. Our most recent attempts have been to contact a local tree service. They come by when they are working in the area, and drop their wood chips at our place. This is a feast or famine type of proposition. If they are working in the area, it is a great deal. We are quickly overrun with chips. I then spend time transferring the piles into the woods, to let it break down for a few years. Chips break down and add lots of nice organic matter to the soil, but not much nitrogen.
We think we may have found at least a partial solution to the problem. We are going to partner with Nourish, the vegan meal folks. We’ll pick up their vegetable trimmings every week and compost it. The composition of these trimmings will allow this to breakdown much quicker than wood chips, and hence be usable as compost sooner. It will also be a consistent source because they have it every week. This helps Nourish reduce their impact on the environment, and return a part of what they do back to the earth. We appreciate Nourish partnering with us on this project, and all the other ways they support the Charlotte community.
Eat your veggies, then compost the scraps!