One-Day Practical Composting Course:
Introduction to Composting
Learn how to make and use compost at the Stokes Wood Allotment Composting Demonstration Site, 2B Stokes Drive, Leicester, LE3 9BS.
This one-day course will introduce attendees to the many benefits of composting and help them explore the methods that will best suit their circumstances.
The course is designed to equip those new to composting with the
basic knowledge and practical experience to compost successfully and take remedial action if things go wrong.
It is specifically designed for those who have recently purchased, or are considering purchasing, a compost
bin through a Council subsidized scheme or have recently taken a new allotment plot.
Participants receive training to develop a composting skill set, and a knowledge of:
- The environmental benefits of composting and role of composting in reducing waste sent to landfill:
- The Benefits of composting in building healthy soil
- The main methods of composting available to
the home, allotment and small-scale community composter
- Home and allotment composting operations including the use of bins purchased through Council schemes.
- Stages in Microbiological decomposition of organic
material during composting
- “Greens and Browns” getting the right mix of materials for effective composting
- Compost bin “first aid”. Measures to be taken if things go wrong
and using compost
The session will include a site tour and practical experience of aerobic composting operations using the wide range of bins available on the demonstration plot. Depending
on the weather it may include the sorting of feedstock from the reception bins, the layering and loading of bins, aeration by turning and aeration tools, use of plastic “dalek” and similar bins, the harvesting
of finished compost .
The course will be presented by Garden Organic/LCC Master Composter Rod Weston
is required for all participants, with pre-payment of the course fee by the student or sponsor. Fee includes refreshments, handouts and participation in course activities. Online material will be available to download at www.carryoncomposting.com
Each session can accommodate 10 (min) -16 persons. Course fee £10 per person. Material will be freely available for download on the CarryonComposting website or a ring binder containing information can be provided.
Introduction to composting
9.30-10.00 Arrival. Tea and coffee will be available
- Welcome Introductions to the course and participants
and compostable waste discarded in the UK
- Environmental and climate issues relating to composting
- Local compostable waste collection and disposal systems
- Garden, allotment and small-scale community composting
11.15-11.30 Tea/Coffee Break
- Initial demonstration site visit
and Techniques: Sheet and lasagne composting, pit and trench, compost pile or heap,
- Types of bin available moulded plastic, tumbler and rotary, wood including pallet and beehive bins.
- Aerobic decomposition
in the compost heap
- Composting microbes (bacteria, actinomycetes and fungi) and minibeasts involved in the composting process. Practical
- Compostable materials, Greens and Browns C:N ratio
CO2 , air/water, Particle size – air spaces
13.00-13.30 Lunch (soup and ploughman’s)
- Hot and cold composting, advantages and disadvantages
- Site Visit: types of bin available uses and advantages & disadvantages of different bins.
- Preparation of materials chopping/ shredding/mixing/soaking
- Layering v pre-mixing, Aeration and turning,
- Maturation, screening and sifting,
- Properties of finished compost.
- Uses of finished compost
3.30 Finish & Feedback
A second day with sessions on Hot Composting, Waste Food Composting (including cooked food), Bokashi Composting, Wormeries, Liquid Feeds (plant
& compost teas), and Community Composting will be offered shortly leading to certification as a Compost Mentor.