To do – or not Issue 6 – 30/10/12

To those new to the scheme:
The active box is now No 1 (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.
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, and park there any suitable surplus you may have at home.
Adam Batchelor, who helped set up the scheme, has provided us neat white plastic caddies that can sit on a kitchen counter to receive organic waste.
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 few seconds to let the excitement pass – after that they accept you as a fickle friend and leave you alone.
The boxes require to be monitored and we all take our turn in pairs for a month at a time. Monitoring, when your turn comes up, is not very onerous. You will be given a key to the locks on the ‘maturing boxes’. Somebody, you or your monitoring partner, should visit the boxes a few times a week to check that the place is generally tidy, break open any bags put into the bin, remove any plastics, and make sure there is enough cardboard added to maintain our ‘dry composting’ regimen (25%+ by volume). The two monitors need to be in touch with each other by phone or text to co-ordinate who makes the inspection visits and when. If there are any problems, just give me a ring.
….plus just two short news items this time:
1) Switching boxes : You may have noticed that the currently ‘active’ Box 2 is getting full – well, yesterday it reached its limit, as reported by Gwenn, one of our current monitors.  Action had to be taken, so today
Contents of Box 1 (fully mature though a bit wet owing to yet another subtropical cloudburst) were transferred to Box 3 (also nearing maturity and by now shrunk down to half depth).
Some compost containing an undisciplined little army of wriggling worms was sprinkled over the contents of the now almost overflowing Box 2 and a padlock was applied, setting it aside to mature in dignified peace.
Box 1 is now ‘active’ and sports the splendid combination lock set to 1066. A thin layer of compost was left in place with a resident colony of worms to propagate and do the good work; it was given a full covering of torn up unvarnished cardboard as foundation for our next endeavours – well done, so far (and not just the worms, that includes you too, the composters).
So there…but we do need more crude cardboard, so if you are in the business of supporting the economic recovery following the disasters of rapacious banking by purchasing durable goods, please save the boxes and add the cardboard to our depleting stock – in return, we might say a very short prayer to commemorate the bonus culture….RIP.
2) In the meantime we had a delightful enquiry for compost from Middle School where the children are building a planter and need something to plant in – we are in touch with them via Merlin to see how we can provide what they need. We also issued an invitation for the children to visit us to see where it all started and how it works….all to the common good, and not a bonus in sight.