Thursday, 22 October 2015

There's life in them thar compost bins!

I do not apologise for adapting a famous phrase from American gold-rushes.  As is often the case I am astonished at the background to this idiomatic line!

Their comes a time in everybody's life when they have to go and turn their compost heap.  In fact there are several such times every year if weeds grow like they do around this place.  Today was one of those days.  The obvious brassica were some cauliflowers that had run to seed and will go back into the base of the pile.
 One of the key elements of compost making is to get some air into the mixture to get biological processes happening.  I do this by having some polypipe with added holes at various points through the heap.  The obvious form of life were hundreds of woodlice (we call them 'slaters' but I love the Devonian name offered by Wikipedia of "chiggy pig").
 In this case the chiggy-pigs were being assisted in the work by a slug.
When looked at closely there were a good number of annelids also active.  I have assisted the growth of the worm population by added a few volunteers from my worm farm.  They seem happy in their work!
 As well as the life going on in the compost bin there is also growth in the matter of potatoes.  I added some lucerne straw as mulch over these.

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