Re: OMG, look at this compost!
Good write up Doug! Ive been doing large scale composting for a few years now. Ive found that getting a pile hot is relatively easy, but have never had much luck turning piles and getting them hot again more than once or so. My wood chip piles get to about 140 and then cool after a week or 2 down to 100 or so.. grass clippings on their own without any browns will heat up nicely in short order. I always keep a few piles of bulk material in my yard to use as needed, but mostly now ive gone direct sheet composting. I simply layer on my materials as i get them around my plants.. for instance when i cut the lawn, i layer the clippings, then put a layer of wood chips over them, then sprinkle kitchen scraps and cover with grass clipping or chips or leaves, whatever is available. When i have manure, i top dress then cover with another material. The resulting soil is incredibly rich, and the plants are extremely healthy. The key here is to only surface layer these materials to prevent nitrogen tie up at the root zone. The worms will do all the work of pulling those materials down into your soil.