Saturday, November 28, 2015


Nearly a month ago, I started a little composting project: composting coffee grounds.  I know, nothing major or earth shattering.  I don't get a whole lot of time to tinker anymore with things that interest me.  However, this I could easily do without too much invested time.  Weeks before, I would get any coffee grounds I could from my favorite local Starbucks up the street from me and stock pile it.  I had a few from months earlier that were quite moldy by the time I got ready to use them.  After having built the box inside of the raised garden I have - that was so I could spread it out once it had finished -- I got down to layering the feedstock.  I bought several bales of straw for my carbon feedstock.  I had to look up what the C:N ratio for coffee grounds were and figured out that I would do a 5-gallon bucket to use a rough guildline per layer.  Of course, I added a few scoups from another active pile to get this one going.

I gave it a few days before I took the pile's temperature.  I wanted to see how fast it would heat up, if it would.  Much to my surprise, it re-acted very quickly, heating up in just two days time.  The pile's temperature will range between 140 to 155 degrees mainly because of night time temperatures I have concluded. Initially, I was waiting for the pile temp to dip tos signal me to rotate the pile, however, it is taking between 5 to 7 days between rotations.  I have never had a pile this hot needing so much time inbetween turns. This has me very interested in how long it will take to complete and how the quality of it will be as well.  

Since I still have so many coffee grounds available to me, free plywood from work from our old concrete forms, I decided to built another compost project.  This one is quite a bit bigger at 6-ft by 4-ft by 4-ft. It has a total of 3.56 cubic yards of possible compost activity.  I built it last week, started the composting earlier this week, but it has yet to heat up.  Not sure why, but I will have to tinker with it. I do plan on talking about this on here as well and posting my ideas, suggestions, and discoveries.  Just like I will be for this smaller guy too. Until then....