Archive for March 8th, 2008

Video: How To Make Compost (Milkwood)

Another great video series from Milkwood, this one explaining how to make compost without too much effort.

Don’t these videos have great music? I also really like the way they use the “Benny Hill effect” of speeding up the video, so you get a good idea of what they’re doing without needing to sit around and watch someone turn a whole pile of compost. Nice opening and closing credits too.

The web pages for each of these videos are worth visiting, as they have a lot of useful info:

How To Make Compost Part I

How To Make Compost Part II

How To Make Compost Part III

The Videos


Making Compost – Part I

  • analyse your compost components using the Milkwood Compost Calculator to make sure you have the C:N ratio right
  • if you get the C:N ratio wrong, your pile will either fester and go rank (too much nitrogen) or take too long to break down (too much carbon)
  • need at least a cubic metre of stuff for the compost pile to work properly
  • water the site of your pile before starting
  • layer your ingredients like a lasagne to make sure things are nicely mixed
  • water each layer as you go: the bacteria and fungi need water to do their thing
  • cover with a tarp – stops it drying out, getting too wet, blowing away, etc

Making Compost – Part II

  • turning the compost pile
  • squeeze a handful of your compost – you should get one drop out of it – water it if it’s too dry
  • peel the outside of the compost pile to make the beginnings of the new pile, then dump the inside of the old pile onto the outside of the new pile
  • mental note – next time, shred paper rather than leaving it whole!
  • white powdery stuff is anaerobic bacteria, which is not really desirable – just keep turning and watering and it’ll sort itself out
  • the pile should reach about 60 degrees Celcius around the 4th day, then cool down a bit more with each turning until it’s just warm by the time the compost is ready
  • urine is a good compost activator if your pile is slow to heat up!

Making Compost – Part III

  • this compost method is called the Berkley Method – it’s fast and easy
  • ended up with nice dark compost – a little more sticks and lumpy bits than she’d like, but still pretty good
  • wow, in January Kirsten was planning to starting a new compost pile every week!

March 8th, 2008


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