- Accumulate vegetation, kitchen garbage, etc., over
the season, letting it dry in the pile. Avoid sticks, bark, sawdust,
which is very slow to break down - they can compost elsewhere.
- When you have a good sized pile, you need 3 other
* good water, rain water is better than city water
* garden soil, which helps to bind up the nitrogen from the breakdown
of proteins into ammonia, which soil microbes turn into nitrate that
plants can use.
* and a good nitrogen source (strong stuff) to balance the high carbon
dry stuff - fresh or dry chicken manure (without bedding), seed
meal, feather meal or alfalfa meal.
* Goal is a C:N ratio of 25:1
- With a fork take dry material from your pile and
spread it in an open space - making a pile about 5-6 feet in
diameter and 8 inches thick.
- Cover with 1/2 inch of good garden soil (about 1 1/4 cubic feet or ~10 gallons).
- Then cover with 3 quarts of seedmeal or 2 gallons of
- Water everything well so it is thoroughly damp
- Repeat the process with the dry stuff, soil, strong
stuff and water.
- Repeat the process until your pile is 4 to 5 feet
- Finish with a thin layer of soil over the entire
outside of the heap
Within a couple days the pile should be heating up. If
it does not, it needs more nitrogen.
After a few weeks, when the temperature begins to drop,
turn the pile by forking it over to the spot where the original dry
vegetable was. Redampen the pile as you turn it, without making it soggy
wet. The pile is ready when you can't recognize the original material,
itís dark brown, loose and crumbly, and sweet smelling.
Procedure from Gardening When It Counts: Growing
Food in Hard Times, by Steve Solomon
This compost is intended to be used along
with Steve's Complete Organic