When I last talked about the Green Cone, it was rapidly filling up with food waste, and the temperature was dropping, neither of these good for promoting the initial growth of the friendly dudes that break the waste down.
With my month away, obviously the input stopped completely. However, with the month away, I have no idea what the weather was like while I was gone. Oh, maybe I do.
Seems to me the most relevant stat maintained by Environment Canada would be the “Heat Degree Days”. This is completely non-empirical, but when the HDD gets up into the high teens or 20s (like the cold snap in November), then it seems it will be a little cold for the green cone to digest efficiently. Conversely, when the HDD is down in the single digits, we are getting into a realm where bugs can proliferate and the blue fuzz starts to grow in the cone.
Looking in the last few days, there is definitely a good blue fuzz going on which means the breakdown is happening. When open, there isn’t much sign of the nasty smell we had happening in the fall when the food waste was overwhelming the cone’s breakdown speed. Looks like the Cone is finally working as hoped.
From this point forward, the only things going in the Cone are non-vegetable matter, bread scraps, or either of the above so tainted by meat, fat or milk that I can’t stick them in the compost.
Also, after the initial exploratory digs, it appears whatever wanted to dig around the cone has lost interest. The raccoon/skunk/neighbour’s cat test has been passed. Or the offending digger has gone south for the winter. So let’s call it a provisional pass until Spring has sprung.
As for the compost, my worms have survived the deep freeze. I was doing some aerating on the compost pile, and found massive clumps of red wrigglers in spots. So many that I was able to share some with another NWEP TrashTalker whose compost didn’t do so well over the holidays.