I didn’t expect my first book review on here to be about compost – but there you go.
Let me highly recommend this book to you. If you have a question about compost it’ll answer it. Let me tell you six things I learned:
1/ Compost needs a good balance of Carbon and Nitrogen (in laymen’s terms – woody stuff and soft kitchen scraps). If you have all of the former, your compost wont break down and you’ll be left with a bin of sticks. If you have all of the latter you’ll get a bin of mouldy slop. Keep them both at a 2:1 ratio and you’ll be cheering.
2/ It’s best to keep compost vegan if you’re in any way concerned about rodents. Mice and rats like eggshells and meat in particular but aren’t really interested in uncooked veggies etc.
3/ Your compost temperature rises every time you turn it. There’s something about regularly turning a smaller compost bin that speeds its heat production and so it’s ability to break down the stuff.
4/ If you grow tomatoes you should grow a green manure like mustard afterwards. Once it’s at about 400mm high cut it down and mix it into the soil. It breaks down in a week or two, adding organic matter to the soil and it releases the chemical that makes mustard hot which kills baddie nematodes (which kill tomatoes and potatoes)
5/ often times compost needs a little kick along to activate the microbes, bugs and fungus that breaks things down so adding a compost activator like horse manure or human urine (no seriously!) makes a big difference.
6/ a human corpse will fully compost in 5 months (!).
This is the Jamie Oliver Cookbook for Compost. The photos are beautiful and the compost looks positively edible. But it’s also a book for realists. It doesn’t make you feel like an idiot if you can’t get something to work.
If you want to borrow it, let me know and I’ll get it to you but, forshizz Fathers’ Day is 6 September. Buy it. He’ll love it.