Making Compost!

A couple weeks ago we brought in some “workers” to start turning the cows deep bedding.  It is a job that only a select few truly love and were born to do.   They are fascinating to watch work and sometimes just down right funny!

The Pigorator Group

Let me tell you, these pigs are in hog heaven!  They turn the bedding while looking for corn that we put down under every couple of layers of wood chips while bedding the cows.   Joel likes to say that all pigs have a sign on their head that says, “will work for corn.”  They certainly do.  Work for corn, that is.   With the pigs turning the compost that means that we don’t have to use any machinery in the process except for bringing the wood chips in and then taking the compost out when they are done.  The pigs do all the work for us and while they are turning the bedding they don’t get any feed.  Just the corn that they find.

Rooting for Corn

The result is the sweetest smelling compost ever.  Truly black gold.

How do you make your compost?  Anyone else out there turning compost with pigs?



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About Leanna Hale

Leanna Barth, born and raised in NC, first came to Polyface in July 2010 to attend one of the Intensive Discovery Seminars. She loved it so much that she applied for an internship position and was accepted for the 2011 season, after which she took the inventory/gardener position. Before coming to Polyface, she sold produce from her family’s market garden, along with homemade baked goods. This venture was mostly inspired by having read “You Can Farm” by Joel Salatin. Having always loved the outdoors, animals, and gardening Leanna is excited about this coming year, all that she will learn, and how the Lord will use this job later on in her life.
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11 Responses to Making Compost!

  1. Rose says:

    We borrow a friend’s pot belly pigs to turn over our garden every year at the end of the season. They get all the left over plant matter, root out grubs and other bugs and fertilize it nicely for us. Our garden is fenced in and aside from some house scraps and water they don’t need anything else while they are here.

  2. Our pot bellied pigs helped turn fresh land into garden land over this past fall and winter….and have done a great job of it!

  3. Suzanne says:

    Are the cows already back out on pasture? Or are the hogs just doing some early turning and the cows are going to be moved back into this section for the next month?

  4. I have 3 – 3 x3 containers for my compost, which is mostly food scraps, dry leaves, cardboard, grass & other organic finds. I don’t have a pig, so I turn it by hand weekly when the weather is warm. 2 of the compartments are active, with the third for moving them around. One with new material and one with old, which is ready for spring beds.

  5. Persis Chase says:

    Wonderful! My husband was on a mission trip to Thailand last year and visited the organic teaching farm of an 80 year old Thai cowboy/farmer…They use the same method on his farm, except that the pigs are rooting for waste silage soaked in a fermented fruit solution. No machines involved! Love the natural/ organic way of thinking that you folks at Polyface model! Joel is coming to the Rogue Valley (OR) soon, we hope to catch his talk/visit. Loved his presentation when he came out a couple of years ago!

  6. I’m hoping to give this a try. I didn’t really get a spot built to do it with all my cows this winter, but have one small inside area with a cow and calf that will be a test site in the spring. It just makes so much sense.

    So are your cows back out on grass already? I’ve still got another 3 months of hay left to go! I’m trying to get a sense of how deep your manure/bedding pack is.

    Thanks for the pictures, they all help.


  7. Heather M. says:

    I have a worm composter in my kitchen. I live in a condo and have a plot in the community garden in the summer. I can’t have a traditional compost pile. The worms do a great job of eating my kitchen scraps and they make fantastic compost. During the winter I save up the worm tea in my fridge, so if you ever come over, do not drink anything in my fridge unless you are absolutely sure you know what it is. 😉

  8. Mary says:

    Having tired of turning compost piles, I see having a pig or two doing the work for me is a very practical idea. Maybe I’ll do this! Chickens do a fair job too, on a smaller scale.

  9. william says:

    Im having trouble understanding this and what the pigs are actually doing in here. What exactly is cow bedding?

  10. william says:

    Im having trouble understanding this and what the pigs are actually doing in here. What exactly is cow bedding and what is this ultimately used for?

  11. We use our Ossabaw pigs to turn our dairy goats’ bedding for compost!