Composting Events and news
Spring is a popular time for people to take on a new allotment or decide to remodel their garden to perhaps create a wild flower area. Where this will involve removing a lawn or grass path producing turves a Turf Mound or Turf wall is an option.
Adding large numbers of turves to the compost bin would occupy valuable bin space and slow the composting process as well as risk introducing perennial weeds to the bin which is not desirable in a cold composting system. A turf mound provides a simple means of turning turf into a very useful loam. On an allotment this has the advantage of enabling turves to be stacked to slowly decompose while the rest of the plot is being dug.
The procedure is simple stack the turves grass side down with the turves in each layer being laid in alternative directions. This helps keep the stack together. A space can be left between the rows to enable air to penetrate the heap.Some sprinkle a little lime, blood, fish or bone meal between the layers.
The mound should be covered with a dark plastic sheet, tarpaulin or old carpet to protect form the rain and light. The loam will normally be ready for use in six months to a year although some leave it for two or more years. The key point is that the grass, weeds and roots have died away.
A page has been added to www.carryoncomposting.com on composting cardboard and paper. While these provide a readily available source of carbon in most home composting systems the volume of waste paper produced by a household is often such that it cannot all be composted using a single bin. It is also the case that where paper material is recyclable it is a likely to be a better environmental option to recycle most of it while retaining just sufficient to maintain the appropriate Green/Brown ratio for home composting. However, before deciding to send all the excess cardboard and paper for recycling the use of additional composting techniques should be considered where there is enough space.
Other possible methods that could be adopted are trench, sheet and Lasagne composting the latter providing a cheap means of filling a raised bed.
In deciding on whether to compost or recycle paper and cardboard waste the are occasions when home composting is the route of choice. One such case is where cardboard has been contaminated with food materials which would contaminate the recyclable waste stream if put into the kerbside collection system operated by councils e.g. greasy pizza boxes. Home composting is much better than the alternative of sending it to landfill.
Home composting can also deal with some types of paper, such as tissues and shredded paper, which in many areas cannot be recycled or composted via the council kerbside collection and would have to be fed into the council landfill system. The item looks at the speed at which different types of paper decomposes when composted.
Time to wrap up the wormeries.
First evidence of snow othis winter. The wormmeries need protecting from frost to avoid frozen worms. One of these two is being moved to an outbuilding the other protected by bubblewrap which I have found works well in the East Midlands. I tend to apply three layers and keep the top removable so as they can still be fed.
More on our wormery page
International Compost Awareness Week (ICAW) is the largest and most comprehensive education initiative of the compost industry. It is celebrated during the first full week of May
Throughout the week of ICAW, community and business events are held in a countries across the world to encourage and celebrate composting. All types of composting – from backyard to large-scale are promoted. Events include tours of compost facilities, school gardening programs, compost workshops, lectures by a well-known gardening expert, compost give-away days. To learn more about how you can get involved with ICAW or plan an event in your community, click here to read the Celebrate ICAW Manual.
Master Composters, Allotment Societies and others will be organising events over the country during the week. Details of the theme do not appear to have been published yet but the for most of us the aim is topromote composting provide support for local composters. Details of the events at Stokes Wood allotment Leicester will be published in future blogs. Sessions for Leicestershire schools can be arranged by contacting email@example.com
INTERNATIONAL COMPOST AWARENESS WEEK AUSTRALIA
Better Soil, Better Life, Better Future
International Compost Awareness Week Australia (ICAW), is a week of activities, events and publicity to improve awareness of the importance of compost, a valuable organic resource and to promote compost use, knowledge and products. We can compost to help scrap carbon pollution by avoiding landfilling organic materials and helping to build healthier soils.
ICAW Australia is an initiative of the Centre for Organic Research & Education (CORE), a not-for-profit organisation conducting year round organic research, education and awareness activities.
The USA theme for this year is Cool the Climate - Compost!. The meaning behind this year’s theme is that there are many ways to help reduce our carbon footprint and reduce climate change and adding compost to the soil is one means of doing this.
The ICAW Committee is looking for an individual (or team of individuals) in each state, who is willing to lead International Compost Awareness Week in their home state. It's easy to be involved, especially if you are already celebrating ICAW! If you are interested or need more details, contact Beth Simone, firstname.lastname@example.org
Work is continuing in preparing the Stokes Wood, Allotment Demonstration site in Leicester. Most of the old raised beds have been removed at the layout of the bins has more or less been decided.
We will have two Reception bins at the entrance for green waste from the allotment plots. With 4 or 5 working pallet bins for hot composting the waste. The Hotbins, Jora and Green Johanna will be opposite near the entrance from the pavilion. A line of conventional domestic bins along the path to the shed will show cold composting techniques and what can go wrong! Tumbler bins, including a Mantis, will be situated near the shed and the wormeries. Towards the back of the plot the will be an area showing soaking methods of making compost and plant teas with a raised bed demonstration initially showing compost and comfrey teas in use.