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Organic Compost from Sawdust and Grassclippings

"The soil is the stomach of the plant." 

-Aristotle

This quote is the basis for a lot that goes on at Cascadian Farm. Basically, a famers feeds the soil, the soil feeds the plant, and the plant feeds the people.

Each year Jim Myer makes one huge pile, about 200 cubic yards, of compost. The pile is made out of grass clippings from the Farm and sawdust brought in from a nearby town. In order to turn the compost pile, Jim uses 2 tractors and a manure spreader. He scoops the compost up and throws it in the manure spreader, than the spreader throws it out the backend and eventually builds itself over again, 10 yards away.

A brief explanation from Jim:

"This vegan compost is good organic matter to put into the soil. I make my compost using sawdust, the same sawdust I use on the blueberries and the grass clippings from the field margins and the pasture mix from up top. The grass clippings are high in nitrogen, so buffered with enough sawdust, that feeds the microorganisms that breakdown the cellulose and lignin in the woody sawdust material"

The compost is put to use all over the Farm, even on the blueberries. Blueberries love bogs (as the self-guided tour taught me), so Jim has been building the soil up, literally, for the last 16 years, working it up into as close to a bog as he can get. Every year, he throws a layer of the homemade compost and a layer of sawdust mulch onto the blueberries. The blueberries are feeding on the decomposed compost and sawdust he laid down 10 years ago.

After seeing this massive compost pile in action on the Farm, I returned to the city and immediately started brainstorming ways to go about urban composting.  Help me out! What composting method do you use?


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