We struggled for over a year to get our compost right, and no matter how I tried to explain it, or how many pictures I showed, our gardeners just didn’t get the whole process. That was until a friend suggested I show them the Foundations for Farming video on my phone; they watched it twice and we have never looked back. My gardener, Moses is now the compost king! When we first moved into this house the soil was fine red and hard as a rock. Now it is rich and black, teaming with earthworms and vermicast (worm poop).
Here is the video, show it to your gardeners, and to yourself! There is a more in depth write up about it on the Foundations for Farming website. The idea is you make a 1.5-2m cube of any garden clippings, kitchen waste and manure, making sure you wet it as you build. When it is hot (stick a garden fork in), you turn it over and create a new cube alongside. After about 7-8 weeks you should have ready to use compost! This will vary slightly on the climate as well as the size of the garden clippings. You can speed up the process by chucking in a handful of earthworms from your previous pile. But they will work their way up from the ground beneath. In the same area that we make compost, we bury our cooked food waste and bones. We have so little of this type of waste that there is no smelly impact and it is eaten up in no time by the worms and bugs.
We absolutely love making compost, it is so rewarding and makes a huge difference to the condition of not just the soil in our vegetable garden and flower beds, but also in the vegetable gardens at Moses and Priscillas homes. We used to make it inside the vegetable garden where the chickens could access it and they loved having a scratch around, helping turn it. We have started making so much that we moved to another area of the garden and now the garden birds, especially the Kurrichane Thrush are practically residents there! Everyone wins!