In Search of Black Gold!
Season 3 – Autumn/Winter 2019/20
Compost Project 2019/2020
In Search of Black Gold! T8
In Search of Black Gold! T12
In Search of Black Gold! T16
In Search of Black Gold! T20
Image Unit 1 – Turn 1 – 7th December 2019 – Above
Image Unit 2 – Turn 1 – 8th December 2019 – Below
Image Unit 2 – End Turn 3 – 25th December 2019 Above
Image Unit 1 – End Turn 2 – 23rd December 2019 Below
06th January 2020
The above is Unit 2 [Middle Unit] of the trio this is what the soils looked like after l removed the cardboard scrunchies this morning and placed them into Unit 3 in preparation for Turn 4. You can see that since the last Turn  it has really changed. It’s a fantastic texture and ready for the turning.
Turn 4 is the start to ‘real turn sequence’ of this project of ‘no rules composting’. The Unit above principally held the old compost remains from the 2018/2019 compost, so whilst it had been ‘sieved off’ of quality useable compost two weeks ago, this is now where these soils are at and they are now at the same level of the soils in Unit 1.
Unit 2 has enjoyed a good solid two weeks of both cold and warm composting strategy and in those rough 14 days has broken down further. In essence this particular compost could be used now as a mulch or a cover compost for winter or even a dig in trenching compost. My aim is to produce a really lovely fine compost soil for planting and potting this spring.
Unit 2 – Unit 3 for Turn 4 was really easy, a nice comfortable 45 minute fork out from bin to bin. Every 12″ l added a sprinkling of chicken manure pellets, damp cardboard scrunchies and compost tea to soak it through with. The mixture wasn’t sodding wet, more like that of a damp sponge.
The compost felt warm to the touch telling me that this compost had gone through various stages of hot composting in the new tighter box space. But there was an excellent worm culture in there that was very impressive. Given how much further this older compost had broken down in the last two weeks … l would have to say l was quite excited!
Part 1 Turn 4 Unit 2 – Unit 3 – Very smooth product.
But l was also very pleased with the speed of the first part of the turn – the results it had acquired in such a short space of time as well as how it was a one movement thing in comparison to the days of using the pallet system where upon l was causing physical injury to my shoulders constantly and the Turns could take me around 3 days – however the real test was not to be found in this particular part of the turn as in old 2018/19 compost, but the 2019 bin.
Above is Unit 1 part 2 of Turn 4 prior to it being forked over into Unit 2. Already there is a massive difference between this Unit 1 today in comparison to this same unit two weeks ago. Upon removing the covering cardboard l could feel that the hot composting process had been at work within and it was now in the stage of ‘no rules warm composting’ strategy. The colour change alone from the two images is quite distinct. [see below] The first indication to the decomposition heat process.
For this part of the Turn l had some additional kitchen wastes to add as well as the newly blended mold peanuts from yesterday’s bird feeders as well as some new cardboard/paper product [toilet rolls, kitchen towel and egg cartons] .. and the chicken manure pellets.
Once more l was astonished and super pleased at the hyper efficiency of the new composting unit system but equally as impressed with my new warm composting no rules strategy as in throw more or less everything in bar the kitchen sink. With the ability to shred and break down food stuffs much quicker with the blender it means l can add in bits of fish, Scrappy’s soiled foods, fish oil, yoghurts and so on and because it is ALL blended, mixed, broken and shredded, it is smaller almost liquidised and therefore consumed much faster by micro and macro’s alike.
Again l rinse the layers with cardboard scrunchies and compost tea and add in a few shakes of chicken manure pellets every 12 – 15″ of forked content.
I reckon ‘Dave’ the Guiness Book of Records giant earthworm found in 2016 might have a run for his money with this lovely worm, l quickly measured and it has 12″ of length [who should be so lucky!] Except this beauty is staying in my own compost and will not be visiting the museums. During the dig l noticed an incredible earthworm culture much better than when l used to turn the compost in the pallets – l am ‘assuming’ this is down to the newly shredded liqui kitchen wastes.
As l was nearing the bottom of the final unit, this was the first time l noticed ‘green content’ and mostly now nothing but stems. Turn 4 took me a total of 90 minutes and the end product is in fabulous shape and considering this is from the 2019 heap itself – l can easily see that by Turn 8 which is the end of January/start February – this is a much, much faster compost production than l ever received in the pallet system – more results produced quicker for less work. By Turn 8, l will be sieving this compost off as fine grade and l had set myself a full 20 weeks to produce the same content – l will be ahead of target by 12 weeks.
Turn 4 completely successful in 90 Mins!!
See you in Turn 8
Thanks for reading everyone, till the next time …