Some time ago Tom spend a considerable amount of time concreting the floors in our chook pens, where our chooks sleep at night. We cover the concreted floors with sawdust, which is emptied out regularly and replaced with fresh sawdust for our little egg producers.
Tom had a happy accident the other day. After removing the chook manure soaked sawdust mix from the concreted chook sheds he decided that, instead of leaving it to decompose slowly in a pile for maybe 6 months, he would add some more sawdust to it and wet it to see if it would hot compost.
The chook manure compost pile, watered and covered with some old carpet.
He was very happy to see the temperature went up, topping 60 degrees C and that it had distinct fungal activity!
Temperature rising over 60 degrees C
Fungal Activity in the Chook Manure compost
There was great colour change and he used an 18 day time acceleration, turning the compost every couple of days. We had beautiful, usable compost in just 18 days!
Turning the Chook Manure Compost every couple of days
However, when Tom tried to do it again some weeks later with another batch, it didnt heat up. The temperature went only to 38 degrees C and he thinks that there was maybe too much sawdust this time (too much carbon). Visual fungi was really low. But we won’t give up, we will try to judge how many days or weeks is ideal to have the sawdust in the chook pen, so that it is still good for the chooks but will also make beautiful compost! Looking forward to the next sawdust changeover!
Look at this beautiful compost, ready to use after 18 days, made from just sawdust and chook (chicken) manure….
Zaia is a musician, homesteader, permaculturist, holistic health and wellness coach and sustainability advocate. She and husband Tom run permaculture designed farm "Kendall Permaculture Farm" on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia and the not for profit organisation PermEco Inc. and teach permaculture and self reliance. Zaia loves cooking and always comes up with new and different recipes to prepare the food she grows. She is a percussionist and is involved in various musical projects, including community music projects. She writes about life on the farm and tries to post regular photos and articles.
“I would recommend Tom Kendall’s PDC to anyone looking to learn or become part of the Permaculture Community. I really enjoyed the course. It was also an excellent opportunity to learn from someone who has always worked with the land and who has spent a long time developing that relationship into what it is now. I learned a great deal about the agricultural systems from a practical and solutions based perspective. And yes, they are lovely people too.
It means a lot to me that they offered the course as pay-as-you-can and as self catered. I am in the position where I can only find sporadic work and rather than waste my time feeling stuck I was able to learn and find new opportunities with this course. The sense of community it gives was also really important to me and I am great full to them for being generous with their time. It is something that will give more value as time goes on and I hope to return this fully when I’m able. ” Marni, PDC 02/2020
“ Unlike all the other students I had no previous knowledge in permaculture and it far exceeded my expectations. I was happy to see the ethics related to this topic were one of your criteria. I would highly recommend this course and have done so already multiple times and will continue to refer people to you in all my travels
To be able to do the course by donation has meant to me that I’ve been able to upskill myself for an affordable amount in a time of current unemployment.
It also meant I could please my curiosity on this topic and dip my toes in the water with the little knowledge I had in this field where as a full price course would have not lead me down this path. I thank you both so kindly for your contribution in getting this knowledge out there in our current global situation.” Todd Dent, PDC 02/2020