Thursday, August 30, 2012

Layer Cake Convection Composting

This is a composting method that uses convection by allowing the rising heat of the pile to draw air from underneath and send it up through the middle. This will greatly speed up the composting process. Make sure to keep the pile damp like a wrung out sponge.

1. Make a big, loose airy bed for the pile to sit on on. This can be made of sticks, palm leaf stalks (not the fronds), old barbecue grills. Make 2 more beds in a row next to the first one.

2. Next pile on a layer of brown material (carbon) in a wreath configuration. This can be dead leaves, cardboard, straw, dead palm leaves, newspaper. Keep an open hole in the middle. 

3. The next layer is green material (nitrogen). Maintain the wreath configuration. These can be cuttings from your garden, kitchen scraps (no meat or oil), garden clippings, aged manure. Always keep an open space in the middle of the wreath.

4. Continue on like this keeping that same configuration alternating nitrogen and carbon. In between adding layers, you can cover with a weighted down cloth tarp (not plastic, you want the air circulation to be unimpeded). The height of the pile is up to you but it should be a height that you can manage to turn over by yourself. In about a month turn that pile onto the second stick bed. Turn again onto the third bed in another month. Let sit until fully composted.