We currently harvest anywhere from 50 to 80 trays of microgreens weekly. This leaves us with a lot of compostable goodies! Since we grow our Micros on a standard organic potting soil we have perfect starting materials. The crops are only grown for 10-15 days so they use up hardly any organic material. Additionally, we add organic material back in via the roots of the microgreens. This root material composts very quickly and we are left with slightly better potting soil!
From here we will take the compost and transfer it into raised planter beds that we are installing around our property. Composting is helping our operation grow organically, without large investments in our outdoor garden.
This system is working for us, but we are new to composting. I reached out to Julie, our friend and Owner of Elements Mountain Compost for a few pointers that can help get you some proper black gold. Here are three pointers to keep in mind, especially in a climate like ours here in Salida, Colorado:
- Incorporate lots of brown materials (leaves, woodchips, dead grass, etc.)
- Lots of surface area – smaller items will break down faster and mixing/aerating will allow bacteria to enhance decomposition.
- Lots of moisture – compost tends to dry out in our arid climate and decomposing will stall out without sufficient water.
Over the coming years we will be changing and evolving our composting setup to meet our farm needs. Right now it’s pretty simple and meets our expansion goals. In the future, we plan on diving into worm bins for our kitchen scraps and a more elaborate composting system that will recycle the compost back into the microgreen production.
It is really satisfying to make great soil and every home should start this practice! Start slow and use yard clippings and kitchen scraps. Your houseplants and garden will thank you!