Here in Western Pennsylvania, lots of guys are collectors of items that to their wives seem, well, like junk. They are the ultimate recyclers. Their carbon footprint has to be negative because they reuse recycle and I’m not sure about reducing. They look along the road for things that are discarded. Old pipe, old stones, rejected corncribs, falling down structures just make their imaginations go wild. Ray’s latest idea was using old road dividers, for which he traded backhoe work, as the footers for his silage pit. He figured it saved him thousands in cement costs. First we had to burn down the last standing building that his grandpap built.
Since we live in a hilly area, it is a challenge to level the area first. Tons of fill were placed in the low areas, followed by large and small grades of stone. The road dividers were placed carefully so they were level and close together.
After the sides were completed, the silage had to be chopped. Silage is chopped corn stalks with the ears still attached. The moisture this year was almost too low, so we are unsure whether the quality will be as good as it should be. We had an extended drought time in August, through the beginning of September.
After the silage is dumped, the backhoe will level it and run over it over and over to smash it to smitherines. No air pockets should be left in the pile so anaerobic fermentation occurs. The guys worked well into the night for about a week.
After they were finished, we covered the pit with silage plastic, pulling it tight over the pile and anchoring the ends with bricks and old tires. We should know soon if it is a good batch…six weeks and we can open it. Kind of reminds me of making sauerkraut in a very large scale.