.

.

dinsdag 5 mei 2015

Adapting to circumstances.


Our winters are getting colder. This last winter was relatively cold. It was freezing at night and we are not used to this. It also was raining much more than usual.

Hendrik decided that he had to change his way of composting to the new circumstances. The main sequence remained the same: Drying, immersing, dripping, storing and heating, to finally stop the heating with which the materials proceed into a decomposition in oxygen-poor conditions. But he had to adjust his procedure to the new winter temperatures.

In the summer, at warm temperatures, the heating is previously established. However, in this winter we noticed that the heating was not well underway and that the decomposition in the poor oxygen phase lasted much longer. When we opened some big bags, we assessed the result was disappointing. The digestion was far from complete. As a result, the whole process of heating again had to be redone. And that is difficult and cumbersome. Because the materials must go back into the process again by mixing it with new material and additional manure, in order to bring the heating back on track. And the low winter temperatures work against this also. So it was time for reflection.

We know that the heating can go up to high temperatures when there is more oxygen present. When we 'boost' heating by allowing more oxygen, the material will experience less discomfort to the low environmental temperature in the last oxygen-poor condition. It will decompose almost as good as in summer. Hendrik thought about how he could effectuate this the best without losing too much organic matter in the phase of heating. Because after all, heating also means loss of organic matter in CO2. The trick is that one gets the best out of the heating and that it stops when it is enough to decompose the materials into the active compost that we want. (Read about nitrate and humus in 'Microbiology for dummies')


This remarkable image we know. Hendrik is pressing the grafted hay firmly in order to prevent unlimited heating. This winter, he discovered that in winter, the hay must be pressed together far less than in the summer. Also, last winter he did not put the materials in the big bag at ones, but in parts, to allow more oxygen help the heating.

This is the method which he devised for the winter:

Winter method in volumes 1 to 8. (One volume is the amount that fits in the immersion barrel.)
First follow volume 1:


1: Grafting the summer dried hay with grafting fluid.

1: Let drip the grafted hay.
2: Grafting the summer dried hay with grafting fluid.

1: Storing the drained hay. This storage takes about 5 days.
2: Let drip the grafted hay.
3: Grafting the summer dried hay with grafting fluid.

1: Stack loose the stored hay into the big bag. Wrapping up the big bag well. The hay comes to forcing.
2: Storing the drained hay. This storage takes about 5 days.
3: Let drip the grafted hay.
4: Grafting the summer dried hay with grafting fluid.

1: The hay in the big bag heats and is pressed down.
2: Stack loose the stored hay into the big bag. Wrapping up the big bag well. The hay comes to forcing.
3: Storing the drained hay. This storage takes about 5 days.
4: Let drip the grafted hay.
5: Grafting the summer dried hay with grafting fluid.

1-2: The hay in the big bag heats and is pressed down.
3: Stack loose the stored hay into the big bag. Wrapping up the big bag well. The hay comes to forcing.
4: Storing the drained hay. This storage takes about 5 days.
5: Let drip the grafted hay.
6: Grafting the summer dried hay with grafting fluid.

1-2-3: The hay in the big bag heats and is pressed down.
4: Stack loose the stored hay into the big bag. Wrapping up the big bag well. The hay comes to forcing.
5: Storing the drained hay. This storage takes about 5 days.
6: Let drip the grafted hay.
7: Grafting the summer dried hay with grafting fluid.

1-2-3-4: The hay in the big bag heats and is pressed down.
5: Stack loose the stored hay into the big bag. Wrapping up the big bag well. The hay comes to forcing.
6: Storing the drained hay. This storage takes about 5 days.
7: Let drip the grafted hay.
8: Grafting the summer dried hay with grafting fluid.

1-2-3-4-5: The hay in the big bag heats and is pressed down.
6: Stack loose the stored hay into the big bag. Wrapping up the big bag well. The hay comes to forcing.
7: Storing the drained hay. This storage takes about 5 days.
8: Let drip the grafted hay.

1-2-3-4-5-6: The hay in the big bag heats and is pressed down.
7: Stack loose the stored hay into the big bag. Wrapping up the big bag well. The hay comes to forcing.
8: Storing the drained hay. This storage takes about 5 days.

1-2-3-4-5-6-7: The hay in the big bag heats and is pressed down.
8: Stack loose the stored hay into the big bag. Wrapping up the big bag well. The hay comes to forcing.

1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8: The hay in the big bag heats and is pressed down. The big bag is full and wrapped up well.

By stacking the big bag lightly, the heating can start earlier and can last longer. The packets hay that Hendrik makes and graft, he pulls apart for this purpose. Here the heating of the first volume of materials lasts at least 8 days. Thereafter, the heated material is pressed together and the big bag is filled with a second layer (volume nr. 2). And so on until the big bag is full (volume nr. 8).

The hay is brought into contact with water and manure bacteria during the immersion. During the draining in the barrels, these bacteria then begin to do their work and start a sequence of bacterial stages. This takes time.

The first 8 days of forcing are needed to allow the first bacteria to start up the heating process. To then finally, after a number of bacterial stages, move on to the oxygen-poor conversion, where the temperature drops from 30-50ºC back to about 15-10 ºC.

The environmental temperature plays an important role in this heating process. We are trying to exclude the environmental temperature as much as possible by storing the materials into barrels. Hendrik also prefers to do the emptying and filling of the barrels during the hot hours of the day. For now this can be done well, here in the Alentejo. In winter the outside temperature fluctuates between 10-15ºC.

If the outside temperature is less than 5 ºC the heating can only be achieved in a controlled environment where the temperature is sufficiently high. If the outside of the pile is cold, the inside is getting cold. The bacteria which are necessary in order to achieve heating start at 5ºC.

To sensitivity to temperature, three groups of bacteria can be distinguished:
1. The group psychrophilic bacteria with a temperature range of 5-30 °C.
2. Most of the bacteria belong to the group of mesophilic bacteria, which grow optimally between 15-50ºC.
3. Then the thermophilic bacteria whose optimum temperature is between 50 and 60ºC.

In a full heated compost pile, bacteria are found that can grow at temperatures up to 90ºC. So far, however, we do not go. We stop at about 50 degrees, by pressing out the air. At this point the materials have been sufficient heated in order to have its beneficial influence on the subsequent oxygen-poor stage, where valuable substances are captured. If this process is completed once the composted material may be aerated again, in order to let the air do its oxidizing work. (For this, also read 'Like making Cheese')


The summer method is much simpler...
First follow volume 1:


1: Graft the hay with grafting fluid.

1: Let drip the grafted hay.
2: Graft the hay with grafting fluid.

1: Storing the drained hay. This storage takes about 8 days.
2: Let drip the grafted hay.
3: Graft the hay with grafting fluid.

1-2: Storing the drained hay. This storage takes about 7 days.
3: Let drip the grafted hay.
4: Graft the hay with grafting fluid.

1-2-3: Storing the drained hay. This storage takes about 6 days.
4: Let drip the grafted hay.
5: Graft the hay with grafting fluid.

1-2-3-4: Storing the drained hay. This storage takes about 5 days.
5: Let drip the grafted hay.
6: Graft the hay with grafting fluid.

1-2-3-4-5: Storing the drained hay. This storage takes about 4 days.
6: Let drip the grafted hay.
7: Graft the hay with grafting fluid.

1-2-3-4-5-6: Storing the drained hay. This storage takes about 3 days.
7: Let drip the grafted hay.
8: Graft the hay with grafting fluid.

1-2-3-4-5-6-7: Storing the drained hay. This storage takes about 2 days.
8: Let drip the grafted hay.

1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8: Storing the drained hay. This storage takes about 1 day.

1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8: Stack the stored hay in the big bag and press this firmly. Wrap up the big bag well. The hay comes to forcing.


Also read: 'Adapting to circumstances' - Part 2: 'Rich in Oxygen and Oxygen Poor'.


*

Stella.

Geen opmerkingen:

Een reactie posten