You prime it by giving it a source of nitrogen (e.g. bloodmeal) every few days for a few weeks while it turns itself into compost.
When it's ready, you plant things normally; potatoes you'd bury in the bale, stuff like lettuce you just sprinkle the seeds on top and cover with compost like you'd normally do
Bloodmeal can be expensive at HD or Lowe's, but someone at work pointed me at a wholesale organic fertilizer company that they used a while back and they've got it much cheaper -- $60 for a 50lb. bag
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