There is no greater synergy of all the biodynamic farm principles than that expressed in the role of compost. It is here that animal, plant, and preparations work in harmony to create and provide the fertility, nutrition, and energies needed to produce and sustain superior soils, foods, and medicines. However, the true biological and dynamic expression of one's compost, crops, and land will never be reached without a properly managed compost pile into which the preparations can function and thrive — resulting instead in wasted time, money, and potential.
Workshop participants will spend the day at a biodynamic compost site and immerse themselves in the composting cycle from start to finish. We will tour one of the premier Organic Valley dairies to explore the role of diet, nutrition, comfort, and pasture management as it relates to manure. Then, back on the farm, we will explore recipe development by examining different animal manures and other feedstock characteristics. Partipants will build their own recipes and piles, with emphasis on customizing compost to the unique needs of the individual farm's soil, crops, and other factors. We will demonstrate the differences between using a tractor-pulled compost windrow turner and a front-end loader. Additional topics will include guidance for building rows and piles; monitoring temperature, moisture, and oxygen flow; when to turn and not to turn; assessing quality and progress; and troubleshooting. Specific attention will be paid to the role of biodynamic preparations and other microbial inoculants and how to maximize their effectiveness biologically and dynamically.
Whether you are just getting started or are an experienced composter, this workshop will show how to run a successful composting program for your farm, garden, CSA, vineyard, or other endeavor; lower fertilizer and additional input costs; and increased yields, while also building regenerative soils that add value to your land year after year.
* A basic working knowledge of the general compost process is strongly advised. (On-farm lunch and bus transportation are included in the registration fee. Much of this event will take place outdoors, rain or shine. Please dress for inclement weather and wear sturdy shoes. Space is limited and we expect this event to sell out early.