Sunday, August 21, 2016

Fungus in the Compost

I'm an oddball around town because of some of my particular adventures. ( need to be aware that most folks around here are a bit odd, so I fit in just fine!) One of those odd things that I do is collecting the  mushrooms that pop up in the county park and the church lawns. People often ask me if I eat them. Heavens no! They're poisonous. But I find them to be good additions to my compost piles, pallet grow boxes, and hugelpits. Fungus is what breaks down the woody aspects of biomass, thus my piled up organic material decomposes faster. 

Above, I've opened a makeshift compost pile, to show you, one that is made of tree & brush twigs and tree leaves sucked up with a lawnmower, layered with fresh grass clippings. As I piled on the layers, I moistened the twig/leaf layer with my "kwik compost tea" made from my IMO (indigenous micro organisms) compost pile. 

My IMO compost is designed to grow bacteria and fungus that likes to feed upon the soft and woody biomass that occurs in my area. (Sort of like keeping a sourdough starter for bread making, but in this case the "friendly bugs" are for fermenting biomass instead of flour.) I then use it to mix with water, making a "tea" to use to moisten other biomass piles......such as the one pictured here. I see it is a rapid and surefire way to get things moving quickly along. Within a week, this particular pile showed heavy growth of micro organisms, especially fungus......the fluffy white stuff in the photos. 

To make the kwik compost tea, I simply put a shovelful of compost in a five gallon bucket, add water, stir, then use immediately. I use it to moisten the dry material added to a compost pile or hugelpit. 

By the way, if added moisture is not called for, then I simply lightly sprinkle the IMO compost on the layers as I build the pile, fill the pallet grow box, or fill in the hugelpit. No need to make a tea. 

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