Thursday, October 06, 2005

Making compost

This tiny forray into planting the hardy Malabar spinach got me fired up and all enthusiastic. I decided to try my hands at making compost. Taking the idea from CETDEM Organic Farming in Malaysia book, I took a fair size plastic dustbin and drilled holes in its side and lid (for ventilation). Then I used a jig saw to saw out the bottom so I got a truncated conical cylinder with 2 open ends. This I put in the garden upside down so the bigger end is in contact with the earth (the bottom is open so that "mini" and microorganisms can get into the bin to help decompose it).I then filled the bottom with about 4 inches of dried leaves. On top of this dried leaves I put the little bit of kitchen waste that I have, will cover that with more dried materials and some earth when I have more kitchen waste in the bin. I then close the top with the lid to keep excess rain out.

According to the book "Organic Farming in Malaysia" by the CETDEM Organic Farming Project, the ratio of dry materials (dried leaves), wet materials (kitchen wastes) and earth have to be 6:3:1.

Will post a photo when I get my hands on the digital camera. In the meantime, to get some idea of how the contraption look, have a look at this link: compost bin. Mine will be the same except that it does not have that hatch door at the bottom, and it has plenty of holes drilled into the side.

Latest update: I have discovered a troubling fact. Compost bin made in the manner above tend to collect rainwater, which can lead to mosquito breeding. The water can collect in the lid (spelled L I D) as well as the upturned lip (spelled L I P). One should take precaution to drill holes in appropriate places to avoid this dangerous situation. See Precaution to take when using dustbin as compost bin.

Update: Here is the photo I promised:


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Kodijack said...

I am trying to do composting inside in a trash can. Its been challenging to say the least. The worms are a lot easier, but I do not have enough yet to eat all of the stuff I want them to eat.