[NAFEX] P.S. to adding organic matter

Hans Brinkmann hans-brinkmann at t-online.de
Tue Feb 13 06:34:30 EST 2007

Hallo Mark,
let me just add something to all the very informative answers:

Usually each composting has a hot- and a cold period. Some piles have 
only a cold phase.
Organisms like e.g. worms are living only in the cold phase.
In some cases the hot-phase is becoming even more hot, only due to
"Chemical oxidization" in combination with gases like eg. methan.
This happens sometimes in - quite dry-fresh-hey-barns, which have to be 
rebuild after that.
Usually not in quite moist - well balanced - compost piles/drums.
Well balanced means:
A. right moisture
B. structure(air-circulation)
C. C/N-ratio.

C: The C/N ratio will be the major problem for you, because of your 
vegetables/fruits (dairy/sausage?)...
In any case (I think) you have to add quite much e.g. sawdust (also the 
course one, I do not know the Engl. name).
At Europe we can add also crumpled newspaper, because bleach-agents and
poisons in the dye are prohibited.
I am quite sure, without adding, your "rich waste" will only small like 
a dead opossum or skunk.
If some smelling occurs still, after adding  high C-materials, you can 
add easily:
1.Stone-powder!!! (I don't know your name) from e.g. basalt. This 
eliminated all smells
very well and is in addition a very good compound for the soil. It is 
used  also as a wonderful longterm
natural fertilizer at ecological production.
2. Also lava-powder may be used. See # 1.
3. A little Limestone-powder (simple fertilizer) and or more bentonite 
(e.g. for cat's closets)
are useful in your case because your waste material will be too moist.
Anyhow I think few basalt-powder will work the best against smelling.

B. To have a better structure, either more stirring ore/and more course 
(course woodmaterial) is necessary.If you have sufficient course material,
stirring may be not necessary - if you have a little bit more time.

A: For the right moisture we say in Germany: the compost pile should be in
between a sun- and complete shade-position.To be not too dry and not too 
Some people cover the pile sometimes with a foil to get/keep the right 

I think like this smelling can be avoided completely and animals like 
e.g. raccoons
you have to love as colleagues in waste erasing or you need the  
proposed fencing, or a compost drum.
I think this will be the only convenient method against e.g. rats. On 
the other hand, beloved
and very positive hedgehogs do love also compost piles (For additional 
food and housing during winter).
Many birds too - especially during famine winter season.

It will be up to your national food-contamination-laws, if you may use 
finally the compost for a
vegetables garden or better only for ornamentals, because some 
vegetables and
fruits may contain (skin) too many poisons. Like e.g. your banana or 
Many infected plant-material will be no problem at all, but some (e.g. 
fire blight) should be not used.

E.g. in Germany each household can pay also for a waste drum only for 
if they do not want/can compost waste. Inside the ordinary waste-drum, 
it is prohibited.
More and more farmers and municipalities are using bio-gas-plants (plant 
= fabric) in Germany.



Mark & Helen Angermayer schrieb:
> Hi Doc, Jim, Ginda
> Thanks for your thoughts.  I'm a little confused though.  The book on
> composting I'm reading indicates the temperature of the compost should reach
> 160 degrees for "hot" aerobic composting.  It also must be stirred and have
> the correct ratio of carbon/nitrogen ingredients.  The book mentions "cold"
> composting, perhaps Doc that's what you are referring to?  Quite frankly, I
> never understood how the organisms that make the compost can survive such
> temperatures.  I always thought 160 would kill just about anything.  But I
> think compost piles can get awful hot.  I've heard of barns catching fire
> and burning down because the hay was stacked too green, or wet.  I've seen
> round bales burned up for the same reason.  Is this composting action?
> Mark
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "Doc Lisenby" <>
> To: <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Sent: Monday, February 12, 2007 12:56 PM
> Subject: Re: [NAFEX] P.S. to adding organic matter
> Yeah Jim, that should work where the ambient temperature doesn't allow
> oxidation/fermentation by as many microbes as are present in warmer
> climates.  Temperatures in an un-turned compost heap here will rise to the
> lethal point for nitrogen-fixing bacteria. Swamps demonstrate what happens
> in cooler climates versus warmer climates. Decomposition of organic material
> in southern swamps proceeds at a much more rapid rate than that in northern
> swamps. The noxious smells emanating from compost piles and swamps is due
> gases produced by microbes.  More microbes and warmer temperatures cause the
> production of more gases.  We are trying to control temperatures as well as
> trying to ensure complete and rapid decomposition. Unturned compost invites
> slime molds and other undesirable micro-organisms when the compost reaches
> temperatures over 90ºF.  Temperatures of compost piles should be in the 70
> to 90ºF for the most efficient production of the desired organic soil
> additive.  Composting methods should be adjusted to allow for differences in
> expected temperatures.  Here, we worry about baking the desired organisms.
> So, your method obviously works for you there.  I would have to use
> refrigeration to emulate your conditions.  Un-turned compost here turns into
> a slimy malodorous maggot- ridden mass reminding one of an opossum road kill
> in Florida after a day or two.
> Doc
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