What a happy surprise! I went to turn the compost at the farm, expecting to find it done for the winter after that icy weather last month. Figured I should turn it anyway, but had resigned myself to not seeing any action until spring. While the tractor was warming up, I pulled the tarp off and dug around a bit with my hands. Nothing.
Then, after about ten good scoops with the bucket, I hit pay dirt. Heat. Steam. Actively cooking compost. I was blown away. Must have been the more careful layering we did this fall, with a nice mix of green weeds and leftover sawdust for carbon, along with chicken-coop waste from our neighbor, Chuck. Also, on the advice of another friend, Phil, I had piled it up extra high to give it more mass and downward pressure.
Whatever the cause, I’m stoked. If we can keep it cooking along all winter, even slowly, then ramp it up in early spring, I think we’ll have a huge pile of awesome compost for the veggie beds and to top dress the dahlias and blueberries. Funny, the things you get excited about on a farm.