Hot Compost

Hot Stuff (Compost)

Our Garden Workshop made hot compost.

We want to introduce hot composting so that we can better use our grass cuttings and spend less on buying compost.

Everybody in our Garden Workshop pitched in, measuring and mixing the grass with woodchip in the correct proportions, wetting it as required and stacking it up. The next day, the heap had reached 136C!

Our head gardener, Will, says, “There is nothing special about hot composting other than the green and brown garden matter is mixed in set proportions; they are quite small initially, and the compost must be sufficiently wet.”

Here’s his adapted ‘recipe’:

  • x2 buckets of browns – we used woodchip, which can be leaves, paper, etc., chopped small.
  • x1 bucket of greens – we used grass clippings, but any fresh green material can be used but must be cut small.
  • Wet and mixed well, it should be noticeably damp. To test, gather a handful and squeeze hard. It should be just on the dry side of dripping. The bacteria need moisture to work actively but also need oxygen as they will be starved of it if the heap is too wet.
  • It’s important that the heap is at least 1.5 m cubed; otherwise, it will cool too fast to sustain its workings. 
  • Turn it weekly and check the temperature. When it no longer heats up again after turning, it’s done. 

This ‘recipe’ is a modification of the Berkely technique:

How to Make Compost in 18 Days Using the Berkeley Hot Composting Method – Deep Green Permaculture

Categories Camphill life/Environmental Awareness/Garden/Learning Disabilities/Milton Keynes/Workshops

Post Author: Alicja McCarthy

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