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Old 11-13-2008, 06:11 PM   #1
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Winter compost?

So in about a blink of an eye, my compost pile will be a frozen block, and I wont be able to turn it over.
I'm talking withing days.
Do I keep adding my kitchen scraps to it all winter to just freeze on top?
I'm thinking all thats gonna do is feed the critters, not next years dirt.


Not that there's anything wrong with that.....
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Old 11-13-2008, 06:26 PM   #2
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I don't have an exposed compost pile. Have a bin, so I add scraps all winter long. The composting process generates heat, so the bin never gets rock hard. Not sure what you should do, given you live in Minnesota. Is this the first winter for your compost pile?

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Old 11-13-2008, 06:28 PM   #3
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yes it is the first year....
I had a closed bin at our old house in the city, but we didn't bring it here....
we figured we had enough land now to just have a pile...
I think we should have thought a little longer on that!!!!
Not that there's anything wrong with that.....
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Old 11-13-2008, 07:17 PM   #4
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I remember an old Outdoor Living magazine that talked about a roast being cooked in a compost pile. I must have read it back in the seventies.
Just thought I'd mention that. I assumed they got fairly warm after reading that. It didn't say if it was in a bin or not.
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Old 11-13-2008, 07:26 PM   #5
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If you have done your compost pile correctly, the heat generated internally will keep it warm all through the winter. I remember my grandfather's compost piles in Utah during the winter. Deep snow and ice everywhere except the compost pile and about a foot parameter around it.
Support bacteria. It's the only culture some people have.
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Old 11-14-2008, 12:36 AM   #6
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It is very hard for me to imagine a frozen compost pile, it just doesn't get that cold here.
Today's weather is like this, a photo I have just taken of our Ponciana tree coming into flower. Come Xmas that tree will be like a huge umbrella of green leaves where we will be enjoying our Xmas lunch-----how many weeks to go
We are happy little Vegemites, happy as can be
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Old 11-15-2008, 04:59 PM   #7
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We have a barrel my husband made next to our wood shed...a few feet away from the kitchen. I put the scraps in a stainless bowl on the floor in my kitchen. When it is filled...my husband brings to the barrel.

It is COLD here in New York State. We have no problems. We just keep adding to the barrel. Aria
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Old 11-15-2008, 06:33 PM   #8
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My brother composts year round in NE Ohio in spite of freezing temps. He has wood framed compost bins that he covers with scrap pieces of Tyvek to keep the heat in and excess water out. The bins are open front with the side walls angled from about 36" high at the back wall down to nothing over 4'. The bins are about 4' wide. He's been composting year round for about 15 years, and actually has some customers for his compost since it's more than he can use. He also composts horse manure since his wife has 3 horses on their farm. He manages to kill all the seeds in the composting process.

That's all I know about composting.
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Old 11-15-2008, 08:02 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by pacanis View Post
a roast being cooked in a compost pile.
remind me not to have the roast at pacanis'...

squzie, as aria and joe mentioned, you could make a compost barrel just to use until spring.

here's one way of doing it: Gardening : Compost / Mulch : Winter Composting : Home & Garden Television
in nomine patri, et fili, et spiritus sancti.
beidh ar la linn.
wisdom is often in short supply within ones' ego.
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Old 11-16-2008, 09:42 AM   #10
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One thing you can do is cover the pile with a plastic tarp, weighted down around the edges with rocks, bricks, wood - whatever you have kicking around. This will definitely help to keep the heat in, as well as intensify things on cold yet frigid days.

As far as adding additional scraps throughout the winter, you may want to hold off on that since, while still "cooking", your pile may be cooler throughout the winters you have there in MN & thus will take a lot longer to process fresh stuff. As you mentioned, you don't want to end up starting a critter buffet.

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