HCC is about composting together

This week I had some really rewarding chats with fellow compost lovers. The whole point of the HCC is to lighten the mental load and to make sustainability and organic waste transformation more efficient. For some that means taking the care to source separate their veggie scraps and then leave the rest of the process up to us. Others may be keen composters already who would like to get into the nitty gritty of making compost more quickly.

Apologies for the blurry photo! But it was great thinking about compost solutions for Lynette and St. Francis Xavier College

When Lynette at St. Francis Xavier College asked me about ways to get more nitrogen into her compost heaps I thought hard about all the ways to get food scraps over to her at the school. But there’s that funny thing about the abundance of food scraps that surround us. Yes, they make for great compost and there are so many benefits to carrying out that transformation but the logistics involved are WORK. So unless Lynette can get some assistance from the students and community in terms of gathering up food scraps, she might have to resort to adding manure instead to boost her heaps.

Yvonne is making lovely compost! Look for her on ShareWaste

Meanwhile, just down the road, Belconnen resident Yvonne is making great compost that she’d like to use in her own garden. Like a lot of keen gardeners she’d like to make more compost, and faster! We talked about how great it is that cafes like Two before Ten offer up their daily grind for green thumbs to add to their compost piles. We also talked about what I like to call the ‘hot jam donut’ method of making compost. This involves having a nice, spongy layer of semi-compost on all sides, with a hot, wet mass of food scraps on the inside. This will really get your compost heap cooking (while keeping odours in place!) but you need a fair amount of food scraps to add all at once. This is where ShareWaste and other initiatives are great! You could even set up an arrangement with another composter where one heap gets all the scraps one week and then alternate.

In terms of working together though, the huge achievement this month has been the building of the new HCC compost heap! While managing the compost is a bit of a one woman show (with greatly appreciated help from volunteers occasionally), during the build of the new composter I was assistant to Scott who sorted out all the tricky details of which bolt to put where etc., as well as lots and lots of heavy lifting. And we couldn’t have done it without Tony from Maitland Street Roasters and his friend Jake. Thanks so much, you two are top blokes!

The new compost heap will allow us to process a surprising amount of scraps, and it is strategically placed to assist apartment dwellers in Braddon. Check out the progress photos below, it truly was a labour of love!
Hopefully this will just be the first of many beautiful (thanks to gorgeous recycled timber from Thor’s Hammer) compost heaps scattered around Canberra. But we are committed to growing relatively slowly and sustainably, and bringing communities along with us. If the HCC is not yet active in your part of Canberra why not get in touch with your local school? They may be crying out for your kitchen scraps!

carpentry, community, compost, kitchen scraps, recycling, school sustainability, schools, ShareWaste

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