Libbylindy – If you have a place for it – here’s one of the ways I make compost fairly quickly when needed:
-I have a big cattle trough. You can use a kiddie pool too.
-Take bales of straw or hay and either shake it loose, pack it in the trough/pool 3/4 full or use a chain saw to shred it (I don’t have a chipper which would work)
-Fill it the rest of the way with water. Cover it with clear plastic or a tarp.
-Hold your nose, take the cover off and fork it around a bit in a few days, add some more water and or straw/hay, then recover.
-In about 7/10 days I fork out the ‘glop’ onto a tarp beside the trough, roughly spread it out
-I have a hose attached to the outlet drain, and use it to fill plastic milk jugs and buckets with the ‘tea’/leftover water that I use to water plants/fruit trees.
-The silt/glop at the bottom gets shoveled out onto the tarp with the other stuff. Sometimes I sprinkle a few handfuls of a 10-10-10 granulated organic fertilizer over the mess. I cover with clear plastic to solarize it and kill any weeds that might have survived.
-I am always making some this way – because I always need compost.
If you have room and can get a round bale, put it somewhere (mine is near my other compost area)- and take a chain saw to it a bit and hack all around it some. Stick a length of pvcpipe in the middle with holes drilled randomly on the length. Water the heck out of it down the pipe and on the top in particular. Do that as often as you think of it or have time. Drag a pitch fork across the sides to loosen it up. Or just let it sit. Basically in a year or 2, if you keep hacking/raking it you willend up with some pretty decent compost if you are in an area that gets rain (I’m in mid-atlantic) – I speed up the process with the chain saw/pitchfork.
I’ve used/am using the wood chip mulch method – trouble is for some crops it sucks up nitrogen too much if underlying soil not so hot I think. And my beds seem to eat those wood chips. It’s expensive for the wood mulch for me to always be adding. But it does help with the weeds.