A blustery Spring day filled with composting – lovely!
Saturdays here at Compost central are filled with moving stuff around. It was an odd weather day in Hackett. At one point on the radio I heard a simultaneous warning for hail and bushfires! Luckily neither of those eventuated. The lack of a hailstorm meant that lots of compost was turned and the various heaps were maintained to keep the HCC degradation efficiency high 🙂
Thanks to some donations of dry leaves the HCC stockpile of ‘browns’ is looking pretty good (thanks Purdie and Peter especially!). But I needed the big old tarp bag for some other temporary storage, so the whole pile of leaves was moved to our backyard shed.
I was glad to find we still had some small autumn leaves at the bottom of the bag, these are ideal for adding to the compost heap. The oak leaves are bigger and take a little longer to break down. We’ve also hung onto some recent hedge trimmings. The green leaves will add a bit of nitrogen to the heap, which will be great. The little twigs will take longer to break down. I may make use of a chipper to tackle these kinds of feedstocks in the future, to carry out some size reduction before adding them to the heap.
The tarp bag was then filled with the contents of bay no. 4. This compost had a good few days of hot composting, and then a week or so maturing in bay no. 4 (the plastic composter). For such a short time composting the consistency is pretty good. There were a few citrus fruits that were still recognisable (at least on the inside), so I threw these back into bay no. 1. And there were plenty of those oak leaves that had managed to stay dry and un-degraded. Some of these didn’t have much of a chance because they were the ones that sat on top of the heap at various stages for odour control. Regardless, the compost, such as it is (chunky) is ready to be dug into a garden bed, which will surely benefit from the extra organic matter!
Seeing as compost is moving off to new homes I could then turn over bay no.3 into bay no.4, and bay no.2 into bay no.3. And all this before breakfast! (Granted, I have late breakfast on Saturdays…) It was great to have new collections turn up while I was doing all this too, thanks especially to Gina and Naomi! Due to there being plenty of room in the composter I was able to once again pick up fruit pulp from Julie’s juices at the EPIC markets. It makes for such a colourful compost heap 🙂 I made sure to add a handful to the worm farm also.
I was happy to welcome new HCC community member Robyn this week, and she has asked if she can please have some compost. Absolutely! Things were getting a bit full here a few weeks ago, so I actually had to dig some holes in the garden to make use of some of the finished compost. I’m sure the bottle brush and olive trees will enjoy the boost! but if anyone else wants some compost I will be putting a big pile out front next weekend, from which anyone will be able to fill their receptacle of choice.
It’s great seeing so much kitchen waste going through the cycle here at HCC. We are all saving tonnes of greenhouse gases from escaping to the atmosphere, and instead the organic matter that they would have come from is being used to grow all sorts of lovely plants.
Thanks for the scraps everyone, and make sure to mention us to your inner north neighbours, together we can transform even more kitchen waste!