Saturday, March 17, 2012

Compost Happens!

This is the incredible pile of manure & compost that was removed from the goat pen this weekend! I am thrilled to report that my goats are now in a very cooperative situation. Well, maybe I'm the one that's in the cooperative situation.

My goats are on a piece of horse property in Agua Fria Village, owned by a lovely woman who is turning her family land into a space for all kinds of people to experiment, and bring lovely dreams and plans into reality. I found her through my beekeeping friend (and honey/beeswax supplier) Steve Wall, who keeps some hives on this property. There is also a man who keeps his backhoe parked there, in exchange for him cleaning out horse pens--and I just benefited from this arrangement myself! Can you imagine cleaning this out by hand, wheelbarrow by wheelbarrow?? And FYI--this is just this winter's mucking. Goats are sloppy, wasteful eaters, so there is lots of hay in this; plus they get food scraps from Kitchen Angels, so some of it includes veggie & fruit scraps, even eggshells. Then of course there's nanny berries and goat pee all mixed in. The perfect compost recipe!

This is the new compost arrangement as brilliantly envisioned by Sara, the landowner. Her idea: not have to move anything. This strawbale compost bin sits just outside the goat fence. Food/hay is fed to the goats in the big round feeder; then the next day scraps are dumped over the fence into the compost area. Dirty water gets dumped here as well, when we come to give fresh water to the goats. Worms are on order and will be moving in; so are fly predators and . . . MUSHROOM SPORES! Worms & mushrooms will help transform the scraps & manure into compost, and give us mushrooms to eat too!

While the goats are mine and the property is not, my goats have inspired the compost pile, which Sara will nurture. So wonderful to be part of something bigger than me and my goats.

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