What a winter we have had here in Minnesota. No one thought that it would have lasted this long and we all got spoiled with last years lack of winter, but none the less, the Compostadores continue to collect organics and make compost.
This is the first year where the Compostadores have collected through the winter. It has taught us a lot about winter composting and the logistics that go into making it a successful small scale operation. One thing that was never accounted for, but obvious now is that that frozen food scrapes do not break down and compress as fast in the bins. We budgeted a certain amount of time that it would take to fill each bin and in the summer, that was right on. Once it got cold, this was thrown right out. We filled up our 4th compost site very fast and we started on a 5th site that will be filled in the next week or so. We are in the process of getting a 6th site, that will get us through the spring. once it starts to warm up, we can start breaking open the bins that were filled last spring and start using those again.
In Mid-December, it finally got cold enough and the road conditions got bad enough, that it really tested our cyclists skills. Carrying a loaded trailer of food scrapes down a slippery hill will make even the most experienced cyclist nervous and these guys did great. The cyclist bikes have studded tires and they are dressed for winter riding, but sometimes, it is just to cold or the road conditions are not safe for riding. In these cases we move to vehicle collection. Our Green Source Partners expect their organics to be picked up so we do what we can to make that happen.
We have found out this winter that are able make hot compost on a small scale. Our small bins have been hitting temps of 130 degrees through out the winter and we are so excited about this. The picture on the left shows a bin that has compress over 2 feet since it was filled a few months ago. This is really exciting for us because it is proving to us that we can still make compost, even in the coldest of months.