YouTube: https://youtube.com/watch?v=Q9gqbjeJZBA
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Duration:05:35
Uploaded:2014-07-11
Last sync:2018-11-17 21:10
Jessi talks about Composting, Being Somebody, and what it means to be a boss and making the big decisions.

Link to more detailed info on composting: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compost
Want to compost at home? http://www2.epa.gov/recycle/composting-home
Do biodegradable items decompose in a landfill? http://environment.about.com/od/recycling/a/biodegradable.htm

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Hey, we're back at Animal Wonders! Our goal and mission is to take care of animals, but that's not all we do. We have to run a business, we have to educate, we have to take care of all these crazy little details.    I want to share all the things that we do at Animal Wonders, but I can't do it in one episode, so today, let's talk about poop, dirt, and being somebody.   Not many people get to have the privilege of being their own boss. I think there's a million more perks than there are downfalls of being your own boss. You have to - on the first hand, you have to call all the shots, all the really difficult ones, like which animal to put in the video.    But on the other hand, you get to call all the shots, so when you see a problem, you can attack it directly and efficiently and just take care of that sucker. Some of them are really hard decisions, like what t-shirt to hang on the wall.   I was taught a very important lesson: be somebody. As in, "somebody should fix that!" You need to BE that somebody. I'm responsible for 8-plus animals; I'm their sole caregiver, so it's my responsibility to make sure that they get everything they need.    But I also have a responsibility to my family and friends and also, this planet that we all owe our lives to, so I love that me and Augusto are able to be our own bosses and make decisions that can better our environment. And one particular decision that we're able to make, I'm incredibly proud of.    With lots of animals, undeniably, comes lots of poop. This leads to an abundance of cleaning, which leads to an abundance of trash. What do we do with all this poop?    We compost if of course! With the help of my amazing brother who has studied and experimented with horticulture, we compost and create our own fertilizer. We take all the soiled animal bedding, and we put it in a big pile, right here, and then we collect and add to it over the year.    In the springtime when we move our horse off her winter pasture, we take all the animal bedding from the holding bin, and we move it to the composting bin. We scrape her win- the horse's winter pasture, we put a good amount of that horse manure into this pile, and we mix it, and then we let it sit for about a year to cook.    During the time the moisture content has to be high enough that it keeps the microorganisms, bacteria --antingeno bacteria, fungus, mold, yeast, protozoa, rotifers-- happy and healthy.    Having friendly worm and other little detritivores crawling around in this pile is going to help break down the material. They're going to be eating it and pooping it out, which is going to decompose it, and they're also creating tunnels that help this big pile breathe. And that's going to create aerobic respiration amongst all the microbes.    We want the microbes to respire aerobically, and this is going to speed up the composting process. We're gonna have healthy, usable soil, without potentially harmful pathogens.    If the heap gets too dense, it's gonna start respirating anaerobically. And that's bad because it's going to create a slimy, stinky, horrible mess, and it's going to take longer to decompose, and it's not gonna get hot enough in the middle to kill all the bad pathogens.    Now it's essential that the compost generate enough heat in the middle of the pile to kill any pathogens that would make us sick if we consumed it.    You also need the right balance. Every material is going to have their own different ratio; what you're looking for is a general overall ratio of about 30:1 carbon to nitrogen. And that's going to give the best possible environment for your microorganisms.    Paper cardboard and wood shavings which we have plenty of, that's all high in carbon. Anything fresh and green like leftover food, or feces and urine, are going to be really high in nitrogen. Once the fertilizer has cooked for a year we move it to the ready to use pile. Then we have wonderful nutrient rich soil that we can use on the garden. With no nasty pathogens, this wonderful soil is packed full of healthy bacteria.    For the last five years, my brother Jake has mixed and moved this all manually, with a shovel. We were so lucky this year to have access to a front-end loader that made this so much easier. We then use this homemade fertilizer to grow greens and vegetables so we can feed our animals fresh, clean produce.    This is one of the decisions that I'm really proud to have been able to make as a boss. It not only helps deal with a really big issue at Animal Wonders, it reduces the cost of food, it's ecologically friendly, and it makes me really happy to grow a garden.    I'm continuously amazed by nature, but I'm even more amazed by all these cycles that we find in nature! We can find them in almost any observable phenomena. Look there's a little bee pollinating that flower right now. And I'm in love with cycles! Decomposition, pollination, photosynthesis, days, seasons, rock cycle, nitrogen cycle, carbon cycle, photosynthesis, said that one already! Life cycle, menstrual cycle, I love nature! So I'm really proud to have been able to make this decision and be somebody by moving Animal Wonders towards a more sustainable organization by choosing to compost.    And that's just one of the many decisions that's involved in caring for all these animals and it's not readily visible to the public. So I'm really glad that I'm able to share the behind the scenes with you, so that you can learn about all these amazing things that we get to do.    So we've been getting some great questions and observations in the comments section and that has inspired me to learn more and then share more with you, which in itself has become a cycle! So keep commenting, questioning, and wondering! You can find me on Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook, and you can join us on an adventure every week by subscribing to our YouTube channel. Links are below.    Past video: Welcome back guys today we're going to be talking about behavioral enrichment. Now I know a lot of you guys really enjoy sensory stimulation, like...   If you think this looks like a big pile of crap... Oh, I love poop.