Composting is a powerful yet simple method of reducing waste, improving soil health and protecting water quality by reducing soil erosion and run off. Since we started composting and amending our soil, we started seeing vitality in our vegetables. Using proper layers (carbon, food and manure) and adding biodynamic preparations, help improve microbial activity which is essential for healthy soil. The layers create proper heat, which is necessary to properly break-down the compost:
- First layer – carbon (organic wheat straw) – 6 inches
- Second layer – food scraps- 6 inches
- Third layer – 1-2 handfuls of lime (wood ash or oyster shell flour) – this reduces the smell.
- Fourth layer – manure (goat, chicken, cow or rabbit) 2-3 inches
- Repeat steps 1-6 until your pile is about 5 feet tall
- Adding layers of water helps compact the compost and helps create heat which is essential for proper break-down of organic matter
- Internal temperature of compost should not go above 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Higher temperatures may create conditions for fire.
- Biodynamic compost also utilizes 6 fermented preparations.