160 degrees

The temperature of the pile.

160 degrees.  That is how hot a pile of wood chips can get in just two days.  160 degrees, it just blows my mind.  It takes a lot of energy to get to 160 degrees.  At first I was mad, that mulch was 160 degrees and I was sitting next to a fire place, wrapped in a snuggie, drinking hot tea, freezing!  How can I get that heat in this house?  Can I put a sleeping bag in the mulch pile?  I was cold!  With both Ry and my personality we could not just allow that pile to be 160 degrees and not do anything with it.  A major brainstorming session started.  We came up with a lot of ideas about how to use that energy to heat the house, the future green house, the hot tub and the chicken coop.  Most of the ideas involved supplies that we just did not have on hand.  So we decided to move the mulch pile to the chicken coop and hope that it would radiate enough heat, or at least insulate the coop, to keep the chickens warm.

Ry was able to move about 30% of a mulch pile off the parking pad behind the house to the chicken coop.  A wonderful friend let us barrow his wheelbarrow, which was bigger then the one we have that we found on the side of the road.  Did you know a new wheelbarrow is $215? Crazy, I can do so many things with $215. I hope we can pick up a good used one for a lot less.  Anyway back to the mulch, Ry used the mulch to surround the base of the chicken coop, up about 3 feet high.   Who knows how much good it is going to do, but when you have 5 dump trucks of wood chips, why not try it and see what happens. I will let you know if the wood chips heat up again and if it keeps the water from freezing.

While Ry was working with his wheelbarrow, I was inside starting seeds.  I started Thyme and some red onions two weeks ago.  They have spouted and are doing great.  This weekend I started Parsley, Celery and Leeks.  I put them inside my shower curtain enclosed table. Under two, four foot florescent lights, which I also got off the side of the road by the way! The lights are hung about 4-5 inches above the soil level. I am using Jiffy Starter Kits, which have a plastic cover on them to help keep heat in. The Jiffy Kits come with 72 pellets of peat moss seed starting mix.  The cheap part of me does not like pellets because of their cost, but these pellets are wrapped in a mesh. I am hoping that I can plant the mesh covered pellets in the aquaponics system when it is up and running. (More about aquaponics later, I promise). So far I can’t complain the pellets are working great and the seeds are spouting.  All and all I think we had a productive weekend.

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