The compost pile is alive!
Unbeknownst to the naked eye, a compost pile is filled with millions of microorganisms breaking down organic matter. My job as the assistant compost manager at the Furman Farm is to maintain an environment suitable for the microorganisms to thrive; in turn, creating a beautiful, rich pile of compost. A suitable environment consists of the correct ratio of food, water, carbon and nitrogen nestled into a housing unit. In addition to the naturally occurring microorganisms, at the Furman Farm, we add our homemade microorganisms called Bokashi. Bokashi aids our pile to breakdown food considered non-compostable like meats and eggs.
A typical composting day at the Furman Farm consists of checking the progress of all the composting piles in use. Currently, we have three large composting stations in use (no longer adding food) and all of our compost tumblers (looks like an elevated barrel) are filled. My job is to check on these compost piles, flip them (take off the top layers of dirt to expose the bottom layer to oxygen to aid in the decomposition process), and add lots of water. Since I tend our compost piles very carefully, they are usually ready in a month (or less) time.
I enjoy working with the compost on the Furman Farm. Every time a compost pile is finished, I am amazed how the entire pile is rich and black – nothing like the food I put into it! I receive fulfillment from producing a product that will aid the Furman Farm!