Following up on the post of 12th June (Perfection), here are more details on our methods of composting organic matter. You may recall that we diverted over 95% of materials from landfill at the Connecting Families Day run by YMCA Wanganui. Alongside paper recycling and drink bottles recycling, the bulk of material came in the form of compostable organic matter: napkins, sausages, bread, apple cores and paper cups.
In anticipation of this organic matter coming onto our land, I “feather a nest” by forming a large rectangular bowl with grass cut on a neighbor’s property and “donated” to us by the landscaper. Into this bowl I easily dumped the organic matter collected at the YMCA event.
Then I added half a coal bag of sheep manure we bartered for with a surfing friend. The nitrogen in the manure will balance the high carbon content of the paper cups and napkins.
Then I covered the lot by raking grass over it to prevent wind from blowing the cups around and to allow the compost to “cook.” By turning the pile once every 48 to 72 hours, it will hold temperatures between 50 to 60 degrees Celsius (122 – 140 F) and be completely decomposed in about a month.
Then we’ll have roughly a cubic meter of beautiful, healthy compost ready for our spring planting.