Short visit to Stoneybrook Farm!

What a day!

John, Bill, and I left early this morning to visit Anne Ryan at her farm in Kent. Anne offers free manure to anyone who would come to haul it away. We came to Stoneybrook bright and early in time to see a couple farm hands turning the compost in their large smoking piles and luckily we were also able to fit in a few words with Anne to learn about how she conducts her waste management system. We will be using her compost to amend the soil in our beds here at the Highline Food Bank Garden.

After speaking with Anne, we were able to learn a bit more about the farm, its history, and the story of her compost.

Stoneybrook Stables handle 18 horses which amounts to a whole lot of poo. As a way to manage all of this poo, Anne has been experimenting with systems in which she could compost all of this waste. Anne’s composting system works a lot like  many other large compost systems. She has sectioned off 5 stalls which she uses to transfer the “cooking” manure as it ages from one box to the next. Near the second box her  compost pile may reach a peak at about 130 degrees Fahrenheit which is about the temperature needed to kill of harmful pathogens and weed seeds. We were able to measure one of her boxes, one closer to the end of the totem poll and it was a scorching 140 degrees near center! (Imagine the microbial activity going on there!)

In addition to compartmentalizing her compost heaps, Anne uses an aeration system that introduces plenty of oxygen through the use of an air pump and pvc pipes located underneath the large heaps to stimulate the thousands of micro-organisms to do their job.

After unloading the manure, John and Bill helped to spread it all over our lovely beds.

If you would like to visit Anne’s and her horses or inquire about her compost please hit the jump and visit here at

If you would like to read more about her aerated compost system please hit the jump and visit this site here at

Here are some of the pictures we snapped while we were down visiting Anne!

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Well, that was it folks, another good day! Thank you Anne for having us come down! We especially enjoyed playing catch with your dog!


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