Saturday, March 10, 2007

Moving the compost

By the simple expedient of throwing all our kitchen waste into a palisade of bamboo and waste fencewood, we reduced our weekly rubbish output by more than half. I believe the Medievals called these 'middens', but nowadays we call it 'the compost'. I built the enclosure one afternoon to the undemanding ISO Good Enough gardening standard, and it served very well for several years.

Over more than two years, it never actually produced any compost that I could use regularly, even though I chucked in huge quantities of food waste, autumn tomato vines, fallen leaves, and Special Lignin Breakdown Fluid. However, when it came time to dismantle the midden, the bottom half was nearly-black organic matter with worms holding little orgies in pockets here and there. They all went into my plastic bags for transfer to Hojo. Besides worms, there were fruit flies, and soldier flies, earwigs, and woodlice were well represented. I regret to say that in the summer, there were also mosquitoes. There were also a number of spiders, slugs, milipedes, and great big white beetle lavae.

The dark composty bits at the bottom of the heap are now gracing the tops of my beds in Hojo. Carrying really big bags of compost up and down steps is a little bit knackering.

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