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Shredding or grinding seems to make things better for compost. Has anyone ground up pine cones? I like to strain soils and mix things with them. Wood ash and sand along with pine saw dust of shavings seems to make a good soil from the regular gaden soil! Now that I have a huge pile of shredded pine branches I will mix it or maybe grind it up more and mix wih my soils!
I am blessed with free city yard waste dropoff sites with huge shredders. Anything I can't chop myself with a machete gets taken over there, and I load up on free mulch. If you get there at just the right time there is a pile of finely ground organic matter that leaks out of a certain spot on the shredder machine. It's usually hot already, it composts fast because of the fine particle size. Treasure!