Beginner Composting within a Forest

Hello! I recently bought a home that is surrounded by forest. I have been throwing sticks and pulled weeds into the forest, spreading them around. This is my first question: is that ok?


Also, I really want to compost. I have a pile of leaves started on the edge of the forest that butts up against our yard. Should I put some manure and food scraps in there and turn it and keep going? Or should I use a bin? Or...something else?

Thank you!

It Depends...


Thank you for your question. You have asked a question though which would be answered differently depending on where you live.

For example if you lived on the edge of the currently very dry forests in California or Colorado tossing dry wood into the forest surrounding your property might simply build up fuel for potential fires.

On the other hand if you lived on the edge of a forest in the North East of the US where more humid conditions prevail this would be less of an issue.

Here is a video featuring Australian soil microbiologist Walter Jehne showing humid and dry forest environments.


Fire vs Fungi: our choice to cool the planet naturally and in time from Stephen Curtain on Vimeo.


On Composting It Depends


Here it will depend on your wildlife.And what you want to compost.

If bears are an issue in your area and you want to compost food scraps you may want to treat the material with bokashi before adding it to your compost.

Whether you choose an open pile or a bin I believe either would be just fine. Bury your food scraps in the leaves and be sure conditions are moist. Whether you turn your pile or not is also up to you. It may be worthwhile to get things started but after it's nicely mixed patience will get you compost.

Be careful with manures, especially horse manures as many of those are contaminated with persistent herbicides that don't easily break down in compost. Other than that have at her.

Best of luck in your forest.
Leslie

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