[tomato] Mr. Yarnell's comments.

Paul Reynolds (Tomato@GlobalGarden.com)
Tue, 09 Mar 1999 19:13:47 -0600

I can state that I don't have much of a problem with low temperatures in
my heap.  Even during the winter, it does not get below 50 degrees.  And
I can relate this directly to the dried kitty litter setting on the
surface of my heap.  I know because I've checked the temp on the thing
periodically, but as far as maintaining it, I've not done much.  Just
let it work and open it up periodically to add some table scraps, then
cover it back up.

As far as the harmful organisms, well, I will admit that my information
is mainly on human and cattle organisms and the more common veterinary
organisms that are vaccinated for.

I for one am not concerned with organisms that come out of my house.  I
live in that house and those organisms are a part of my everyday life.
If there were harmful substances, I'm already exposed to them and am
probably at more harm in my house.

Even the most noted virologists in the nation agree that the optimum
survival rate for virii and protozoan is at about 40 degrees F.  If
you're interested in looking into it further, I'd recommend that ya get
hold of Dr. Gerba at Arizona State Univ. and pin him on it.  He's one of
the most reknowned scare mongers on the subject.  Even in his testimony
here in Texas, he admits that there is a substantial and linear decrease
in survivability of the organisms, outside of a host, with an increase
in ambient temperature with the longevity being measured in a couple of
hours at 60-65 degrees.  And I know that my heap will exceed that
today.  Our winter ended about a month ago and my heaps doing really

And please, if you have information on "bugs" that are harmful to people
that are so hardy that they can live at temps of 98 degrees long enough
to infect people, send me the information so I can forward it to some of
our biological folks here at the agency.  We are permitting ultra violet
treatment systems for wastewater and I know that these don't reach high
enough temps to take care of any water borne pathogens at those

Paul Reynolds