Sunday, February 28, 2010

until another day . . .

The kitchen was a blur the other day when the children made our noodles for the spaghetti dinner that night. We spared the wasteful expense of the Playdoh extruder and instead collected a couple of noodle makers these past few years. We have two pasta makers now, and have recently gotten them out to make homemade noodles with. As if TWO were not enough, last week Ildi's mom sent us yet another one to add to our pasta making ability. That gives three children the pleasure of making pasta at the same time. Who needs Playdoh when you have REAL DOUGH!

Composting Lesson Number One: Never pile a whole bunch of manure in the barn thinking that you will "get to it later."

Tonight, as I was mucking the area where our cow sleeps, I noticed the manure pile I was creating was slightly smoking. Just a hint of wispy smoke rising from it. I didn't think too much about it and went on with my business of throwing new bedding down for Janey to have a dry spot to sleep on. Since I have composted for years, I was aware of the breakdown of material and the heat that happens during composting. I knew that piles of green matter could sometimes reach REALLY high temperatures causing combustion, but I did not think that my 'little pile' of manure, in my barn, would be one of them.

After finishing the cleanup of milking, I waved Nolan over to come and look at my smoldering pile and said "Now this is composting at its finest" and then was planning to just let it set until another day's work. And I am SOOOOO glad I didn't. Both he and I decided right then to take the time to spread it out on pasture. (spreading it now also gives it a chance to soak into the ground before spring sets in) Thermophiles, microorganisms that live and grow in extremely hot environments that would kill most other microorganisms, were busy at work heating up the pile to the point of burning some of it. (Shawn would be happy that I have studied that a bit) As we forked it onto the Gator to move it out, we uncovered some ashy sections that had actually BURNT! That's science for you!

All in all, we got it all moved out to the field with a little more respect for decomposing matter.


Barbara said...

So...what kind of noodles? wide and flat, narrow, round? Did you dry it and keep it for later? Do you make it fresh each time you eat it? How much fun! I agree!
REALLY You and Ildi SHOULD SHOULD SHOULD write a book. PLEASE think about it. Please pray about it. Come on, !!!

Anonymous said...

Birthday Present for Garth...
One manure spreader.

You can probably find a small one and hook it behind your gator. You have to be careful though. In the Winter, if manure goes in, it has to be unloaded before it all freezes to the bottom of the spreader or you will break a belt. The things I know.
Seriously, did I tell you that I love your Gator? Yeah, I did.


Mom and Me said...

Hi foutfolk this is the franks family speaking those look like very nice noodles( good job just want to let you know that me and my daughter have a blog now and would like to know what you think so leave us a comment. Here is the link

Allen Shropshire said...

I was discussing the benefits of deep pack bedding for animals with my sons the other day and how an animal can stay toasty warm even in extreme cold because of the composting action of the bedding. But it certainly needs to be monitored - especially if it is inside a barn or other structure. As a professional Firefighter in a rural area, I have seen several barns burn down and many animals die of smoke inhalation over the years from this very reason. I think I'll go check my own barn!