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Coffee chaff uses?

Travis Halverson

Joined: Mar 25, 2011
Posts: 76
Location: Minneapolis, MN
I work at a roastery and have access to bags and bags of coffee chaff.  If I use thick layers of this in a raised bed or a hugelkultur bed will it form an impenetrable mat of chaff like newspaper might?  Or will it be alright?  Any experiences or guesses?

Are there other uses anyone would recommend?  I am currently just working with the backyard of a city lot in Minneapolis.

Casey Halone

Joined: Feb 09, 2011
Posts: 192
a worm farmer was telling me he puts it on top of his beds, but under the burlap sacs. when the chaff is gone, he knows they ate everything else, as they eat chaff last, i guess they like the grounds and other stuff below best.

i think it would make a nice mulch to walk on bare foot.

Travis Halverson

Joined: Mar 25, 2011
Posts: 76
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Interesting.  I'm not sure the chaff alone would make a nice mulch for a pathway because it is so light and fluffy that I think it would blow away.  If I misunderstood and you meant that the chaff under burlap would make a nice pathway mulch, that doesn't sound bad.

That's another thing I should search the forum for.  Burlap.  Right now we have a four foot tall stack of burlap sacks at work.

I do add a thin layer of chaff to my indoor, shoebox size, worm bin.

Thank you for your reply.
Rosie Hatfield

Joined: Apr 21, 2010
Posts: 32
Location: Vancouver Island, BC
I've just started collecting coffee chaff from our local roaster--I'm really excited about it.  Despite being a "brown" for the compost pile, it is also reputedly full of nitrogen and other nutrients.  It does mat a bit, but the pieces are so small that it's easily broken up when turning the compost pile.  I think if you moistened it, it would make great mulch, though I haven't tried it yet.  I think it would work a bit like grass cuttings in the garden, mat up a little, but break down quickly and work well as a weed barrier when wet.

I got turned on to chaff through this article about using chaff as a substitute for pine shavings as chicken litter!  I haven't had the courage to try it yet, as my chickens are still young and small and I worry about the possible dustiness.  But I'm keeping it in mind for later when they are bigger...

Travis Halverson

Joined: Mar 25, 2011
Posts: 76
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Thanks for the link.  My wife's cousin keeps chickens and we've been trading coffee for eggs.  Next time I'll see if they want a big bag of chaff too.
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