[Market-farming] Compost

CAVM at aol.com CAVM at aol.com
Thu Oct 2 19:52:23 EDT 2003


If your compost is made properly you should have little trouble with weed 
seeds. Tomato seeds are about the hardest to kill, others should be not much 

Heating the compost on a stove kills the beneficial microbes which you 
encouraged during the composting process.  Compost is not so much a fertilizer as a 
breeding ground for beneficial microflora.  Worm castings are even more so.

"Organic Humus"
 could be almost anything that was left to rot.  You should have a clear idea 
of what you are using and use it with a purpose.

Kris Kring of the KY Dept. of Ag is getting the state certification issue 
straightened out as quickly as he can. It is a shame it takes so long.  

With the demise of the contract worm business in the Midwest and South there 
should be huge quantities of worm castings looking for a home.  This is the 
premier potting and transplant ingredient.

We have been composters for almost 20 years but do little work in small scale 
operations.  However, there are many skilled producers who work with small 
composting projects suitable for gardeners and small farmers.  Perhaps a visit 
to Allison's seminar on her hoop house production would be a good introduction 
to soil conditioning.  She is nearby.

Neal Van Milligen
Kentucky Enrichment Inc.
cavm at aol.com

> Andrea wrote: >>I was wondering if anybody out there is certified 
> organic.And if you are,what kind of growing medium do you use.Do you mix 
> it up yourself ,and what proportions of all the different ingredients 
> does it contain.<<
> I'm not certified (yet) and not a market farmer (yet) but I intend to be 
> both within a couple of years (certified when/if someone in KY becomes 
> accredited, until then I'll operate under the $5,000 rule).
> I currently use sifted compost - sifted through expanded steel mesh - 
> which I sterilize by baking or setting atop the woodstove for a day. 
> Eliot Coleman and others advise against sterilizing growing medium, but 
> I find that I'm forever picking weed seedlings out of my flats/pots if I 
> don't. I tried using bagged "organic humus" when I ran out of ready 
> compost this year, and it was less than satisfactory.
> Eliot Coleman has a recipe for soilblock medium in his "The New Organic 
> Grower" which involves compost, greensand, and 2 or 3 other ingredients 
> - if I can locate those ingredients locally (not likely, honestly) I'll 
> be trying soilblocks next year.
> Nicole in KY

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