With the market garden growing at a rapid rate, tree planting by the hundreds and the Bio-fertile farm workshop just around the corner, we are in desperate need of some compost. So it was off to collect all of our ingredients and make some compost lasagna.
It’s the ‘Berkley method’ of compost we are using here, also known as ‘Fast compost’. All our waste products will be converted into amazing soil full of all the nutrients and good bacteria to meet the needs of the plants, in 2-3 weeks. Yes, you did read it right, WEEKS. You have to see it to believe it.
We gathered our ingredients in no time at all. We needed high carbon content material and high nitrogen materials too. The right mix is 30:1. It’s important to break everything up into small pieces, both to increase the surface area the microbes get to sink their teeth into and to make it easier to turn with a fork.
Our ingredients we found around the farm, and from the local racetrack that gives away as much horse manure soaked wood chips as you can shovel. We had Jerusalem artichoke stems, old compost pile leftovers, hessian bags, cardboard, horse manure, wood chips, hay, blood and bone, ash from the rocket stove, green manure, kitchen waste, even a dead fox! It’s important to water in each layer also and evenly spread the materials.
We layered each in an order of carbon and nitrogen needs into a removable cage and covered it with a tarp. After one day the temperature was at 20 degrees, tomorrow it should be at 65 degrees and ready for it’s first turn. We will then fork it like peeling an onion making a donut of compost and pile it into the cage again. We will repeat this process every time the compost gets to 65 degrees, and in 2 -3 weeks we will be ready to spread the love.