We started clearing our compost heap the previous week. This week, Cheng Ai and Siti did a thorough sieving of the compost heap, and look what came out as ready-to-use compost! It looks and feels like rich, dark, crumbly earth and smells just like the forest floor. We got our black gold, for free. It’s just amazing to touch, and know what goodness we have available that can nourish the soil and plants in our garden.
How do we know that compost is ready for use?
- The pile has shrunk significantly
- The original materials are no longer recognisable
- The pile is at the same temperature as the surroundings
- The compost is dark and crumbly and earthy
Do you know?
After the heap stops heating up significantly, it needs a period of time known as curing, to complete the composting process. The compost remains moist and aerated throughout this period. The advantage of a compost heap over tumblers, is the direct contact with the ground. Insects, worms, fungi enter the pile and start working during the curing stage. The compost that is fully matured is more finely broken down, with additional nitrates and beneficial fungi.