Composting News Issue 4

Currently the active box is No 2 (counting north to south) – it has a combination lock set for 1066; to open set the combination and then push the black button in the bottom of the lock – it can be a bit stiff.

Adam Batchelor supplied us some very neat compost caddies – I have only one left and you are welcome to it – just give me a ring.

We run a dry aerobic system, which requires the addition of at least 25% by volume of torn up bits of cardboard (plain corrugated board, loo rolls, cereal boxes and pulp egg-cartons are ideal). There is usually a supply of such board adjacent to the boxes, so help yourself if in need.

Do not include egg shells, cooked food and any plastic (even if it claims to be biodegradable) and if you wrap the material in newspapers or bring it in paper bags, tear it open so as to let in air…

…and expect a swarm of flies when you open the lid – it is best to stand back a minute to let the excitement pass – after that they accept you as a fickle friend and leave you alone.

Finally, a compost facility does not run by itself – it requires periodic attention. We have just set up a monitoring rota to spread the burden among the users: a pair of volunteers take on the task for a month at a time, spelling each other so that the boxes are visited 2-3 times a week to remove any plastics, open up any wrapped material to allow air to circulate. make sure there is enough cardboard added, spread the load around to fill the box and keep the area tidy. In addition, once a month or so ‘turning’ is recommended, which involves mixing and breaking up the compost using a spade and fork (locked into one of the boxes) – it takes 10-15 minutes and can work up a bit of a sweat. ….and oh yes – do you know about the fruit flies? (if not, see the doggerel below based on the Teddybears’ Picnic)

Could you please find out for us from your neighbor what arrangements they have for removing their compost? it would be interesting to know…

…and do sign up with FOPA to stay in touch with the community – visit the website and register with a small donation. You can use it to publicize the facility you plan to set up in Adelaide.

With kind regards
Balint Bodroghy

Hot off the press:
Box 3 is now full and locked, quietly maturing – like some of us around here…..
Box 2 is now ‘active’ – it’s been emptied and given a base of corrugated board to start it off the right way;
Box 1 has been drilled to encourage drainage and received the contents of Box 2 on Saturday as our bid in the Olympics, giving the compost a final ‘turning’ – now more or less dry and crumbly and full of the fattest worms I’ve ever seen. I believe it is ready for collection. The spade and fork are locked into Box 1.

Please get in touch, anyone, if you want compost, a caddy or a chat by the village pump…

In the meantime:

Compost Mentis – Drosophila Melanogaster

If you go down to the bins today
you’re sure of a small surprise;
Ifyou go down to the bins today
you better put on your gloves;
for every fly that ever there was
will gather there for certain because
today’s a day these critters hold a picnic…

….Picnic time for Palmeira flies,
the darlings are having a lovely time today;
watch them – catch them – unawares
and see them pair and make a nest
for laying their eggs that hatch into grubs  
that turn the waste into recycled dust
while gadding about and whirling above…
…for that’s the way our fruit flies have their picnics.

You’ve been warned!

…and oh yes, we are looking for monitors to take over for a month! ….and so on….for ever Amen