Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Construction of Compost

On Saturday 26 February, 10 keen gardeners gathered to construct a Berkeley style compost heap under Dan and Aaron's guidance.

We had already discussed the various components we would use and we each brought along a particular ingredient and then collected more around the garden.

Berkeley composting requires multiple layers of various nutrients whilst ensuring a balance of carbon and nitrogen containing substances.
A sprinkle of mature compost supplied vital microorganisms to the base layer of straw.

And so the layering began!
2 bales of straw first, then every subsequent layer was watered in. Caleb did a wonderful job as waterer!
We also used molasses solution to give the microbes a good head start.

There was something rather fishy about Norm's mystery ingredient, but he seemed very happy once it was in the heap.

The heap gradually became taller with its alternating layers and Leanne realised what an important job she had, as she recorded everything used on the whiteboard.

Finally all layers were almost complete, just another layer of comfrey, chicken manure and compost before a final layer of straw and one of our famous round zucchini's as the cherry on top.

Thanks team,

Gabriella, Deb, Norm, Kathy, Doreen, Joe, Dianne, Leanne, Caleb, Maria, Dan and Aaron.

It was a great day!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Saturday 5th March.

Saturday was a nice morning, much cooler than the last few weeks. Ideal for a bit of labouring in the garden.

Deb had kindly brought along some fairly advanced potato seedlings from her garden.

The plan is to try out planting them in old tyres, and as they grow, we add more tyres and soil to build up the plant and increase the number of potatoes produced by each plant.

As you can see with Deb, Barry and Vince’s help the potatoes are up to two tyres already.

Vince set about making access through the gate nearest the Blue Haven complex easier and safer.

He levelled off the area inside the gate and installed a step. Then he top dressed the area with blue metal left over from the seating arc.

I gave Vince a hand to make a level pathway to the storage container also dressed with blue metal.

The tyre section of the seating arc is now complete and we are looking for recycled timber to start the decking surface for sitting on.

Our newly installed rain gauge showed that we had received an impressive 19mm of lovely rain the night before.

It was a great morning’s work thanks to Deb, Vince and Barry. I am looking forward to turning the compost for the first time this coming Saturday morning.

Happy gardening,