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Make your own compost

As a sustainable resort we work hard to make sure we minimise waste and re-use as much as
we can. This process comes full circle in our permaculture gardens, which we tend with
the nutrient-rich compost that we make from leftover food – which is often originally grown in the very same garden.


Homemade compost has a number of benefits. It reduces the volume of rubbish on the island
and the composting process produces a nutrient-rich compost that improves the quality of our soil, which is naturally quite sandy and acidic. This ultimately means we can grow a wider variety of fruits and vegetables – faster and easier – that have much more flavour.

Eva Giraldo Maria, Bawah Reserve Sustainability Manager shares how to make your own compost at home: 


Step 1: Build a composter

Compost 2

Bawah has six homemade composters but at home you would only need one unless you are looking at industrial scale composting.

Follow this simple step-by-step process to build your own:


1) Prepare a circular hole in the ground that’s around two meters diameter and 40
centimetres deep.
2) Cover it with a tarp.
3) Get a 1.5-metre plastic pipe or tube and cut a line of circular holes roughly 1 to 2
centimetres diameter for drainage in the bottom third of the pipe. You can ask your
local hardware store to do this for you.  This will be the compost aerator.
4) Make a small hole to fit the pipe in the centre of the tarp. Place the pipe upright in the
centre of the hole to allow static ventilation. Secure it into the ground at the bottom,
so that around 1 metre sticks up above ground.

 

Compost 1
5) Fill the hole with leaves, rotten wood and dry grass until it’s about 80% full.

 

Compost 3

 

Option: You can also buy a pre-made composter or a dual batch compost tumbler; they come in a wide variety of sizes and have built-in ventilation. SHOP NOW 

 

Step 2: Start making your own nutrient-rich compost

For efficient composting microorganisms your composter should be filled with 70 – 80% of dry organic matter (leaves, rotten wood, dry grass) and 20 – 30% of fresh organic matter (green waste, leftovers, grass, manure, etc.)  For the fresh organic matter, you need to separate waste in your kitchen; not everything is compostable.


What's compostable?
Fruit and vegetables, Eggshells, Coffee grounds, Rice, Tea bags, Leaves, flowers, sawdust, tree trimmings
What isn’t?
Animal products (meat, fish, bones, dairy products), Cooked food
Bread, pastries and Oil

 

Lets Get Composting: 

1) Add the organic waste to the dry matter in the composter and mix it together.
2) Add more organic waste as and when you need by mixing it in and turning the
compost. Make sure that the material on the outside of the pile is turned into the centre
where it will be exposed to higher temperatures. This step is important because
mixing provides proper ventilation to avoid bad smells. Check the moisture; the
compost should be humid but not wet.

3) Turn the composter every four to five days.


Step 3: Use your compost

Compost is ready to be used when it looks, feels and smells like rich, dark earth rather than
rotting vegetables. It should be dark brown in colour and crumbly. It can take from one to 12
months, depending on the conditions.

Permaculture Nature Garden Water

You can use it in two main ways:
1) Add it to the topsoil in your garden, letting the nutrients sink in and flow through the
soil.

Or 


2) Mix it with topsoil to use for potting and starter plants.

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Homemade compost adds valuable nutrients and micro-organisms, such as bacteria, fungi and
protozoa that make the perfect conditions for growing organic fruit and vegetables. Check out
what we have been growing in our gardens and show us what you are growing in yours too.

 

 

Come and see our permaculture gardens for yourself, make an enquiry here:

 

Start Your Journey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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