Our farm is over 5 acres, considered a very small size in the farming world. It is amazing how much you can grow and produce though on even 1/2 acre of land or even in a back yard as gardeners know.
With this much land, lawn, vegetable fields, fruit trees, shade trees, leaves, roses, flower fields, shrubs, chicken pens-well you get the idea, it is amazing how much debris we can accumulate over the seasons.
We had been composting, fairly will-nilly in the back with Frank making piles of this and that, moving it a couple times a year. Sometimes when the piles got too large or the tree limbs and branches were much too large to ever break down in our life time, we would do a once a year field burn.
This year we got serious and built a traditional composting area with 3 large bins. I know some details about composting, but we needed to educate ourselves as much as possible before we started. We looked on line, read, purchased some composting books and away Frank went to building. The bins had to be wide enough so the tractor could get into to toss and move the green, brown and limb wastes. We lined the bins with 1/2" hardware cloth to contain the debris yet leave opening for air to circulate.
Everything seems to cost so much, particularly wood. We noticed that a local hardware store had "cull" lumber. They put out stacks of wood that is somewhat damaged or getting too old or odds and ends of various sizes and lengths at a much cheaper price. Frank has an eye to spot great deals for building materials in the "cull" section of the lumber piles. He purchased most of the wood needed for the bins from the culled wood; we had the peeler posts from the days of having kiwis; but we did have to purchase a 100 feet of the hardware cloth which cost over $100. It is now finished and we added our first piles of leaves from the driveways; and various plants pulled up still left in the vegetable gardens. So nice to have a well organized and well planned area to get really serious about composting.
We broke down and purchased a larger sized chipper/shredder to break down the fruit tree limbs and larger stalks of plant materials. Frank has that next to the bins so it is ready to use with each load he takes out there. AND he added a water faucet next to it so we can keep it watered. Frank is a handie guy to have around!!
A couple of new classes have been scheduled here at Windmill Farm.
February 18, 2015-Health/Wellness/Weight Loss workshop. A one time class of information with various speakers coming to talk about different aspects about the New Year Resolutions of being healthy and loosing weight. 6-8:00pm, cost is only $5 to pay for the handouts and light refreshments. A list of the speakers will be provided soon. Space limited so if you can attend, better email, call or Facebook me that you are attending.
March-Beekeeping Class-date to be determined, a local beekeeper business will be talking about the life of bees; what it is like running a bee business; how do you get the honey; and honey tasting. Going to be a great class so look for the date soon.
April-Learn how to make flower crowns and boutonnieres. These are all the rage right now for birthdays, weddings of course, anniversaries, just a great skill to know how to do. Professional florist will be teaching this class, date coming soon.
May-Mother's Day event will be a Chalk Art writing class. Another very popular skill to learn. Everyone is using chalk boards to write out events at a business; at all parties; weddings; back yard get togethers; dinners where you want to highlight a menu.
Hope you enjoying our experiences building our compost bins and if interested in our future classes, keep coming back for details or "like" us on Facebook, we post information there almost every day.