Video: How To Make Compost (Milkwood)

March 8th, 2008

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

Notes

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!

Entry Filed under: Permaculture


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