Bringing the Heat
It's the "dog days of summer" as this is being written, with about 1,000% humidity and temperatures that feel like 100 or more, even though it's realistically about 85 degrees (F). Rainstorms and unsettled weather have passed through almost daily for the last 2 weeks, and it can be tough to find a time to turn the compost piles without sinking the tractor in the mud.
As you can see from the thermometer, the piles are really "cooking." Sometimes folks think it's the bright summer sun and warm temperatures that help heat up the piles. But the heat is actually generated internally, from the trillions of aerobic microbes that are converting food and paper waste, along with woodchips, into premium compost.
During this unsettled and wet period, we certainly don't need to be wetting down the piles, which may be needed when turning a compost pile during hot dry weather.
A properly built compost pile relies on the right ration of "browns to greens" or carbon to nitrogen material.
While the broad rule of thumb is three parts brown to one part green, and that generally is fine advice, if you wanted to dial in a recipe for your own compost pile, we recommend a great online compost recipe calculator at The Urban Worm Co.