What is composting exactly?
It’s a verb - doing or enabling the process of converting raw materials into compost by a succession of decomposing organisms - beginning with microbes, bacteria and fungi, which then create the conditions suited to centipedes and earthworms.
It is a technique of layering the ingredients in the right ration of carbon and nitrogen = 30:1 with enough water and dimensions to generate heat to accelerate the decomposition. Hot composting is turning the pile and encouraging up to 60 degrees of heat to kill pathogens and weed seeds and cold composting is layering the ingredients and letting it rest over time to decompose slowing.
There is a vast amount of information available through searches on the web (try edible landscaping cairns) to get the ‘how to’ information to create your own compost with success.
As with everything, diversity is key, so look to some of these options for types of composting or recycling of food wastes to create fertility:
● Hot and cold compost piles
● Banana Circle compost pits
● Compost hot water systems
● Worm farms
● Bokashi (fermented bio fertiliser and trench planting)
● Chicken Tractors
● Weed and compost teas
● Sheet mulching
No matter what technique you choose to suit your lifestyle and space, here are some strategies that work for them all!
● Source separate in your kitchen!
- Dedicate a box to store all paper and cardboard waste and a container for food scraps
● Source separate in your garden!
- Design an area for your fertility zone to dedicate to activities involving recycling for fertility, including storage areas or particular bays for carbon materials like dry leaves, twigs, small clippings, wood ash, straw, dry grass, bark etc
● Set a time!
- Make a goal/intention to recycle your waste and plan for its use/product and book (dedicate) a regular time e.g an hour or so during your week to compost
● Celebrate! Your dedication and gains of working with the cycles of life and death are a positive way to be involved in caring for the earth
● Visit www.compostweek.com.au to see what’s happening during International Compost Awareness Week Australia!