Sustainability is a full circle. Nature’s circle. The compost produced here at the farm is the epitome of that cycle. When you grow livestock for meat, milk or fiber, there is a lot of manure…. manure by the tons, literally.
I am Farmer Mike and I happen to be an expert in the physical and chemical properties of B.S. I spose an expert on BS is better than being full of the stuff. That manure can be either viewed as a liability to be disposed of and potentially a pollution source to our waterways, or a wonderful asset to grow more grass on our pasture and more vegetables in your gardens. I happen to be a State and Federally licensed manure management consultant for some very large dairies who produce and apply or dispose of hundreds of thousands of tons per year, but at Big Horn Ranch I look at it all differently….as Black Gold.
All the manure and bedding from my wintering system gets loaded in the compost building. The roof protects the valuable nutrients from rain leaching and nitrogen evaporation from the sun.
The hogs act as rototillers rooting for sprouted grains and scraps. This adds air to the mixture which boosts the soil ecosystem. These microorganisms create heat by mixing carbon, nitrogen and oxygen which kills pathogens and weed seeds in the mixture. The piggies love to sleep on the heated beds!
The result is an odorless, nutrient dense soil additive which retains moisture during the dry season and also adds organic matter to your vegetable beds while slowly releasing macro and micro nutrients for healthy plant life. Commercial Organic vegetable growers rave about its qualities….and so do my pastures.