It’s a Messy Job, but Someone’s Got to do it!

Putting Oak Bark “prep” into manure ball.








It’s a Messy Job, but Someone’s Got to do it!

We wear gloves to insert compost preps. Once I didn’t―and, well, let’s just say, even lemon juice and Clorox didn’t help!

We insert six biodynamic compost preps into the pile in very small amounts, about a teaspoon of each for a pile 4ft x 6ft x 20ft. Each of these compost preps have been prepared in special, energetic ways that enhance the properties of the prep and, hence, the crops’ abilities to absorb nutrients. These plant preps are: oak bark, valerian, nettle, yarrow, dandelion, chamomile.

Six holes are evenly spaced around the pile, each about 20 inches deep into the center. Then the prep is enclosed into a manure ball (the gloves!), and then tapped down into the hole. The valerian is a tincture, so it is stirred into a gallon of water for 10 minutes, then half is poured down one of the holes, the other half sprinkled on the top of the pile.

Tamping  manure balls into compost pile.
  We insert the preps before the major heating of the pile, and then we record the temperature over the next two weeks. Certification standards require heating from 130° to 150° long enough to kill pathogens and the viability of weed seeds.  We try for the lower end of this range so as not to destroy nutrients. If the pile does not reach this temperature range for at least 3-5 days, organic standards say it is not “compost” but “mulch” and as such, cannot be applied up to 90 days before harvest.

Duties of the Compost Preps:

Oak bark: Supports calcium and promotes plants’ healing abilities to fight off disease.

Valerian: Supports phosphorus use in the soil. Warming force.

Nettle: Stimulates soil health. Supports use of sulfur, potassium, calcium, and iron.

Yarrow: Allows plants to use trace minerals in very dilute quantities through support of sulfur and potassium.

Dandelion: Brings light forces to soil through silicon and potassium.

Chamomile: Stabilizes nitrogen in compost.