[Digestion] Digestion Digest, Vol 2, Issue 53

Dick Gallien dickgallien at gmail.com
Thu Oct 28 19:06:50 PDT 2010

Set me straight please:  Although we collect 6 tons of wet food waste each
week, for the hogs, I just skim this list, because I have enough messes and
wet digesting in winter sounds even messier; however, blame Yvonne's dry
post and Mel's comment for this ramble.

Town people dump lawn and garden residue at our farm, during the growing
season, now, in Fall, little single axle City trucks bring 400+ loads of
street leaves. Most towns turn the piles with a loader and give them away,
when composted, but not Winona, where they have always wasted them in
ditches, until I took them for no charge for 10 years and now receive $5 a
load.  The leaves arrive damp to very wet, if raining.  I stock pile them in
a draw, 50' high, with a dozer,  where they heat all winter. Instead of this
"garage,damp system", which I had never heard about before, I could doze a
trench into a clay bank and line it with pre-cast, self supporting bunker
silo blocks, from 10 to 16' high and as wide as it would be easiest to place
an air tight,, insulated roof on.  The trench could be filled by dumping
loads over the sides.  Unlike when I had a trench silo like this, we
wouldn't want to drive on it and just it's own weight might determine how
deep the trench should be, although the big pile is packed with the dozer
and still heats all winter.  A prof. friend could apply for a grant,to heat
an adjoining green house, if we could come up with something reasonable.  In
that I have more rich organic matter than I can ever use and the big pile is
not in a good place to invite town people to, the trench would be where town
people could access it easily and have it free.

Would there be enough gas from just fallen leaves, to be worth the bother?
 Any suggestions?

Hey Ken Calvert.  Last night we received final approval to have a 3 acre
natural burial cemetery here.  No visible markers, everything biodegradable,
in a lightly hayed and pastured "meadow".  At 79, must plan ahead, lest the
flame throwers or formaldehyde.pumpers get you.  If any one asks, an honest
answer can be, "The last time we saw him, he was out in that hay field".
Thanks, Dick

Dick Gallien
22501 East Burns Valley Road
Winona  MN  55987
dickgallien at gmail.com  [507]454-3126

It is almost a miracle that modern teaching methods have not yet entirely
strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry; for what this delicate little plant
needs more than anything, besides stimulation, is freedom
Albert Einstein

On Thu, Oct 28, 2010 at 2:35 PM, <finstein at envsci.rutgers.edu> wrote:

> Re: "Garage" AD Systems (e.g., Bekon, BioFerm).
> Three aspects of such systems:
> 1. To get any action in even a semi-reasonable length of time, high
> recycle ratios are need (at least 50:50 old stuff: new stuff, or even
> 1:3).
> 2. There is usually a sprinkler system to recycle leacheate, so they are
> sometimes referred to as leach bed systems.
> 3. It may be necessary to add lime or other neutralizing agent with the
> sprinkles mid-cycle. This reflects the acidogens/acetogens getting ahead
> of the slow-growing methanogens.
> 4. In my view, the garage approach is composting masquerading as AD. In
> fact, post-AD composting may be as large and operation as AD.
> Mel
> Melvin S. Finstein, Ph.D.
> Professor Emeritus of Environmental Science
>  Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey
> 105 Carmel Road
> Wheeling, WV 26003
> (304) 242-0341
> Email: finstein at envsci.rutgers.edu
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