Compost System Added for Cooking Poop!
By Karen Pickering
This summer has been about projects. With my husband Mark feeling better and able to do more we’ve gotten quite a few things done around the farm. This month the Northwest Horse Source is focused on training and facilities, so I thought I would give you an update on one of our projects in the works made possible by a grant from the Whatcom Conservation District.
Manure management is always a challenge; even with only two horses it’s still a large amount of waste to deal with. I’ve had my eye on manure bins designed by O2 Compost located in Snohomish, WA. I finally got started on the project in June and we’re nearing completion. My goal is to compost the manure much faster than a regular pile where you need to constantly turn it. This system uses a blower to inject air into the pile making it compost quickly and efficiently.
The completed project will have two side-by-side bins with a blower between, alternating airflow between the bins as the manure processes. The bins will be covered to keep rainwater from washing out important nutrients and protecting the water sources on the property. A local contractor, Roger Edmonds, has done a fine job constructing the bins for us. Mark and I helped with ground prep, staining and running wiring for the blower.
The compost bins are nicer looking and take less space than the traditional concrete eco blocks. The resulting compost will provide us with additional income from selling it to our neighbors for their gardens. I will also spread manure on the fields using our Newer Spreader, which is designed for farms with two to four horses. It doesn’t take much space and is easily pulled behind anything from lawnmowers to tractors.
This month’s cover story is from a barn company that builds dream facilities! Check out DC Structure’s article on page 6.
Our Small Farm Makeover column in this issue shares details of the winner of the farm makeover contest from March. See more on page 12.
Finally, I’d like to share another resource for our do-it-yourself trainers. Check out the Media Barn on page 10. I have the pleasure of sharing information on a set of training DVDs by Josh Lyons.
I hope you’re enjoying your summer––riding, showing, driving or just being with your horse!
Quote: Make yourself a priority once in a while. It’s not selfish, it’s necessary.
Karen A. Baquiran, Writer