At Quicksilver Farm, we do thermophilic composting, which is a biological process using microbes such as bacteria, fungi and actinomycetes. It is also an aerobic process, because the microbes take oxygen and carbon and through respiration create carbon dioxide, water, heat and compost. Since microbes like different levels of heat, the thrmophiles dominate at 110 to 155 degrees. Pathogens die at 131 degrees. So if you get up to 131 degrees and stay there for awhile, bad stuff dies and the good stuff lives, and you have wonderful, safe material with which to amend soil.
Today Tim and I attended a presentation by the California Integrated Waste Management Board, the UC Cooperative Extension and the Resource Conservation District of Monterey County entitled Compost Use in Agriculture on the Central Coast. The goal is to improve and expand compost use in agriculture by providing reliable, scientifically-based information to farmers. The program included an overview of composting methods, discussion of the Seal of Testing Assurance (STA) for testing compost, conservation and food safety co-management and the impact of compost on soil and plant nutrition in soils.
We both learned a lot and had a great day enjoying one another’s company. Can’t ask much more than that, can you?