Posted by Lisa Mahon about 8 years ago
Great food starts with healthy soil and the best way to create healthy soil is with compost. At Bromley Organics we make our own compost. All of the stalks from the herb crops, weeds and other organic matter goes into the heap. We also add animal manures as well to get the carbon: nitrogen balance correct. This also adds beneficial microbes. This formula is worked out on the weight of the ingrediants and we are aiming for a C:N ratio of 30:1. If there is not enough nitrogen in the ingrediants in the heap it will fail to get hot enough. If there is too much nitrogen it will volaitilise and smell like ammonia. The heap is watered until it is very moist. It is too wet if we take a handful and squeeze hard and water runs out. At this C:N ratio and moisture content the heap will start breaking down very quickly. White tendrils which are fungal filaments will become visible in the heap within 2 to 3 days and the temperature will start risng.
We monitor the temperature using a probe and let the centre of the compost build up to 72 Celsius. This is high enough to stop weed seeds germinating and not too hot to destroy the beneficial microbes. We roll the heap very few days aiming to get all the ingrediants into the centre of the pile. After a couple of months it is ready to go on the garden.
Worms will not be present in the compost when it is cooking as it will be too hot for them.
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