Making our compost heap

by Mars

With the struggles of getting soil and other materials for our veg patch (courtesy of Coronavirus closures and disruptions) we turned our attention to making our compost heap.

We built our compost heap enclosure from pallets and left over wood boards. The video below shows how we constructed our compost heap at the back of our veg patch.

I’ve read several composting guides and each one varies on the ratio of brown material to green material. So when we built our compost heap, I simply started with a layer of brown followed by green, then brown, then green, etc. I’ll just keep repeating this process until it’s full.

Green, wet materials are high in nitrogen and decompose very quickly. This includes fresh cut grass, household veg and fruit leftovers and green leaves.

Brown materials are high in carbon and decompose much more slowly than green materials. These are typically leaves collected from autumn and winter, dry grass and wood ash from your log burner (rich in potash).

We will finish with a brown layer to keep flies and odour away. When we have kitchen waste, I just pull the brown layer back, and distribute my scraps and cover it again.

This has already been a very gratifying experience because we’re no longer sending biomass to the dump and landfill; instead, we’ll be using it to feed next year’s veg crop.

I also love the fact that we control what goes in our compost and that’ll be genuinely organic when it’s ready.

Last year’s heap

Last year, before we committed to our veg patch, we started a heap low down in our field. Five months later, it is alive with insects, bugs and earthworms and it’s looking amazing. I’m intrigued to know when our new heap will transform into a bustling insect and earthworm paradise.

Making our compost heap

You can check out the life in our old heap in the the video above.

We will share updates going forward on how our heap is progressing.

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