Hot Compost on Cold Days!
Despite having daffodils that are in bloom, we're in a bit of a cold snap. Yesterday never got above freezing, and today started out that way before climbing all the way to a balmy 37 degrees.
Braving the cold, I went out this evening to collect eggs and check on things in the chicken compost system.
I noticed at one spot on one of the haybale composters, some of the hay and leaves were pulled away by some members of the flock. I was shocked to see how well broken down the material only a few inches down were. The chickens were going to town scratching in the rich material and pulling out worms by the beak full!
These composters were started in late August, and the material at the top was obviously added much more recently. So, I decided to create a few more of these "access points", scratching the top 3 inches or so of carbon off the top of the pile in a places.
First off, the steam that came pouring out of these spots when opened was impressive...these piles are HOT. Second, the well decomposed nature of the material seemed to be true in the 3-4 other spots I opened up. The worm load and number of spouts (yes, sprouts, outside, in March, in RI) was really amazing.
The flock really enjoyed spending the cold late afternoon digging and snacking on worms, sprouts, and whatever else they uncovered that struck their fancy.
Coming out of a cold winter (the toughest season on the farm, by far) and seeing this really was a satisfying experience, and proof that "it's all working".