I’ve had a friend staying who has really definite views on compost – this has unfortunately led to some conflict situations, since firstly i’m not that keen on people breezing in and telling me how i should run my garden and secondly compost isn’t worth talking about for hours!!
I actually left one communal allotment a few years back because a new person got involved who continually held forth on their way to compost. After i left he skinned a rabbit on his ridiculous home-crafted wooden slaughter machine and there was bits of fluffy hair drifting everywhere. Pff!
For me it’s quite simple, you throw in a good mix of nettles, weeds, old soil, newspaper, kitchen cuttings (vegetable matter, no cooked food!) and you piss on the pile when you remember to do so. Six months or a year later, you go back and retrieve soil. Simples!
Anyhoo, one good thing was that we went to the nearby stables and stocked up on horseshit, which is a great thing to have available to add to compost. I’d been meaning to go last year, it would be great to leave a layer to rot on the beds but i ran out of energy and never did it.
In the picture above, the horse manure is on the left, rotting away. On the right is the recent compost, left to mature. In the middle is the current pile, being added to as we speak. Out of picture is the huge pile of hard to break down stuff, ie bamboo, bramble and branches.
The soil from last year’s compost has already gone out into several raised beds and the greenhouse.
the compost is benefiting from a huge amount of leaves, both raked up and dredged outta the pond (hard work that). it’s pleasing to have the whole system set up now, with the wheelbarrow and the different areas to dump stuff into.
above you can see first on the left an overflow leaf pile, then the huge pile for brambles, bamboo, other hard to break down stuff (when Z was visiting, she said leave it for a year or too and then move it, all the rottable stuff will be lovely soil underneath).. next to that a leaf and nettle bin, then the current compost bin (foodwaste, mixed green matter etc etc) and then on the right (out of picture but visible up above) the previous compost pile, rotting away nicely last time i turned it…
everything in the right place, as above, so below
Previously when I had a car, disposing of rubbish was pretty easy, every so often I’d drive the bags to the bin when I was going out doing something else. It’s not like we produce a huge amount of rubbish here, maybe a bin bag every two weeks, but even this started to stockpile after a few months.
I was a bit slow to realise this and so kept on producing new bin bags, but now i’ve switched to using smaller bags, which I just bin when I go into town in any handy trash container.
The rubbish breakdown is:
| Where |
| What |
| Compost |
| Uncooked food waste, garden waste green |
| Burn bin |
| Cooked food waste, paper, mouldy stuff |
| Stoves |
| Paper, card etc|
| Landfill |
| Last resort waste, plastic packaging, crap |
| Metal bin |
| Food cans, drink cans, broken tools, metal waste|
| Glass bin |
| Glass bottles, jars etc |
It’s interesting being so strict in breaking up things to see now how much pkastic packaging I use nowadfays. Sadly I almost always use a supermarket and so much stuff is prepackaged. Only taking a close look at how much I’m throwing away made me realsie that.
Had a bit of a gardening afternoon today after I shook off my hangover. The new compost area is pretty much finished, so there’s a a turned over compost sitting there now, with a new one started off next door, then green compost (nettles etc), then a big area for hard to break down stuff like branches too small to burn, bamboo bits, and mainly brambles. It’s great finally having a place to pile up the chopped brambles and the system is kind of complete, since oil drums can be hauled around the on the grass mower.
The mower does work actually, I’ve been using it to clear paths.
In the garden, I was digging out brambles today and tidying up a bit. I planted out a few squash plants, hope they take. The one already in the ground isn’t doing much at all. Same like the rocket, which is growing really slowly. But the radish and potatoes are still growing fast. In the cloche the seedlings are sprouting!
Unfortunately the second cloche which B made with the netting isn’t as stable as the first one so I took it away today when i was weeding and then it fell apart. Oh well.
We got quite a lot done today, one way and another.
The new composting arena is about half finished and a second bamboo cloche is also about halfway done.
We would have probably got more done if the inflatable boat hadn’t arrived, but of course we had to take El Shman for a maiden voyage around the pirate polder. It was pretty cool to see the terrain from the water, we found a duck’s nest I hadn’t seen before. What I thought was a pumping station next to the terrain is actually a tunnel which the boat just passes through, so we might actually be able to get into the nearby nature area directly!!
And the boat will actually serve some use as well since now I can continue clearing the waterways of branches.
I also managed to get to the second hand shop and buy a mower, this will either be used to mow or turned into a wheelbarrow or become a mower which also barrows. I like how it is called Alko Perfect.