Site Meter

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Pigaerator

I'm guessing at the spelling, having only heard the word, but Joel Salatin's system for managing waste of all sorts, interests me.
Take, says Joel, cows in a wintering barn. Set them on carbonaceous materials like straw, sawdust or wood chips and have them drop their bovine loads of manure and urine willy-nilly. As the season passes and the droppage continues, install corn-on-the-cob to the mix. The combination of cattle-weight, carbon-rich material and effluent creates an anaerobic 'pickling' system that encases and preserves the corn. Come summer, release the cows out into the pasture and bring in the pigs. They'll root about in search of the corn and transform the airless mix into an oxygen-rich compost, that can go back out onto the pasture as needed.
Smelly, but clever.


JayWontdart said...

so basically "factory farm" XXX KG mammals in a shed, walking through their own waste and that enables us to grow corn?

I'll stick to buying traditionally grown crops! :-)

robertguyton said...

Well...sort of... the cows are barned in an area where it's too cold for them to be out (probably) and fed good food all the while. They aren't hoofing around on wet ground, damaging its structure. They go out in the springtime and it's then that the 'magic' of this guys system is evident. He manages the cows grazing in such a way that they trample vegetation into the ground, mixed with their manure in a way reminiscent of the buffalo on the prairies. The resulting mix makes soil at a great rate, sequestering carbon and stimulating microbial populations. It's a system that, according to Joel, would, if adopted worldwide, feed us all and reverse the massive loss of soil experienced ever since agriculture began. He is, obviously enough, a meat eater and not friend to the vegan.