High-Carbon Compost Source

Does anybody know of a high-carbon or low-nutrient compost source suitable for certified organic production? Am looking to use it as a compost mulch in a market garden. The other compost we get is manure-based and quite fine, so looking for something a little coarser and perhaps wood-based or plant-based but that has still undergone some composting. I would be interested in a bulk delivery (20 yards or so) to the Toronto area.



Would ramial chipped wood (or BRF) not fit the bill? Not sure where to get it around TO though, sorry!

oooh! where do you get your manure-based compost?

@info.healinghandsfar It is from During Farms

@dheraud I was thinking of something that had undergone some composting so that it is a bit more decomposed than ramial wood chips would be. But maybe they would be ok, I’ve just had problems in the past with raw wood chips that seem to tie up nitrogen in the soil. I know I said that I want to use it as a mulch, but I am still a bit leary. Is BRF another term for ramial chips or something else?

You are correct that some BRF will tie up nitrogen, and yes BRF is the same as ramial wood chips (BRF is the French acronym, RCW is the English acronym). However not all ramial wood chips (as a product) are created equal because you don’t always know whether the supplier actually used “ramial” wood, as opposed to him using “stem” wood, which is older and larger (over 3 in in diameter) than the smaller and younger ramial wood.

You should check the C:N ratio for each particular product with the supplier. If it’s tying up nitrogen, it typically means that that particular BRF is made with “stem” wood that is higher in tannin. For example, C:N ratios for ramial wood should be between 30:1 to 170:1, and for stem wood it’s much higher; in the 400:1 to 750:1 range.

Don’t be fooled by some random Joe trying to make a buck trying to sell you “so called” BRF/CRW. A few simple questions about source wood and carbon ratios will be enough to determine whether that supplier is legit or not.

I like this paper on BRF/CRW, it’s a good primer:


Also this:

Most of the research on this topic is being done in Europe and some in Quebec, this would be an interesting area of research to explore for the EFAO’s FLRP, wouldn’t you say @sarah/@sarahkhargreaves?

On that note, here’s an example from Belgium: