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:
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