With the farm closed to the public, it has provided us some time to appreciate the compost pile.
The compost pile deserves as much loving attention as all our other living things on the farm, because it too is alive with microbes and gives life to the fields and their crops.
Our ever growing pile lives conveniently behind the barn nestled in the apple orchard. It is regularly fed organic matter; the bedding from the barnyard animals, produce that is overly ripe, the stalks off produce or vegetables and fruits that past their peek of perfection. Each one of these organic matters provide a unique ingredient to the function of decomposition.
The hay is rich in carbon which provides heat to break down the matter. The greens oxidize the pile and help keep it wet to provide nitrogen to the pile. With the proper mixture of water, oxygen and nitrogen the compost is the ideal home for microorganisms to flourish and complete the process of composting turning into soil.
Many think of visiting the farm as an opportunity to meet our barnyard friends but we believe no school tour of the farm is complete without the students viewing the back end products from the animals and learning about the compost pile.
It is not hidden out of site: visitors can catch a glimpse from the big open barn door or while boarding the Pumpkin Express Wagon ride. After all, why hide such an important living thing. Without this pile the soil in our fields would not be enriched with the extra nutrients the compost can provide for our crops.