Chocolate cake harvest

Yesterday we set a temperature record of 78°F (26°C) and I decided to work on my composting project. I had two nice piles of compost from last year that I had turned in early summer. One of the piles I had inoculated with mycorrhizal fungus to see if that has any benefit for the compost. And boy, did it ever! You can see in the photo below (click to enlarge), I got perfect chocolate cake from that pile. Awesome!

compost 3

I call it “chocolate cake” because the perfect compost should look just like the perfect chocolate cake: evenly dark brown, moist but crumbly texture, not soggy, not dry. Usually, at this stage (turned once, year old) there are dry patches all over the pile and the bottom is soggy. Not this one – it was almost perfect throughout. It is 95% done at this point. I turned it over and covered it. This will be very fine compost for our garden this spring.

We had a very wet summer, so the other pile did not fare so well. It was a soggy mess. I am in the process of turning it over and blending in some fresh material (with glycerol and WVO schmutz). And I will inoculate it with the fungus this time. I’ll also build a control pile (no fungus) so I can see the difference next time I turn them. It’ll probably be a while. It’s hard to find the time and get motivated to do this. Turning a yard or two of compost is pretty hard work. But now that we grow veggies it’s worth it.

Here are some more photos of my chocolate cake production facility:

compost 2

compost 1

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