HomePermacultureMaking soil: 10 steps to nutrient-rich compost

Would you like to make great soil with compost? We found out just how simple it is !

Joram Shu came to Ndanifor Permaculture Ecovillage to teach this simple method of composting. Follow these 10 steps to make your own compost:

Step 1: make a pit

volunteer digs for the compostDig a pit (in a level area, not above a water catchment) approx. 1m x 2m, min. 50 cm deep. As you dig separate the top soil from subsoil.

Step 2: base layer

Place a bunch of cornstalks or similar coarse matter as a bottom layer. At this point also place a stick in the center that will serve as your “temperature gauge” later. See picture at step 6.

Step 3: “brown”

dry, wilted grasses for compostAdd a layer of “brown” : grasses, leaves

Step 4: “green”

Acacia leaves for compostAdd a layer of “green” : leaves from Acacia trees (see note at the end of this blog) are especially beneficial because of their high Nitrogen content. “Green” also includes any weeds cleared from the garden, green grass and kitchen compost.

Step 5: Ash

dusting with wood ashLightly cover with clean wood ash. Wood ash contains minerals : potash, phosphorus.

Step 6: Dung

composted chicken manureCover lightly with animal dung- cow, pig or chicken manure (fresh or dried).

Step 7: top soil

top soil addedCover everything with thin layer of top soil. This is why you separated it in the beginning!

Step 8: water

Spray with water to dampen. A dry compost doesn’t work!

Step 9: repeat!

Repeat steps 3 to 8 until the pit is filled.

Step 10: Cover

banana leaves cover compostCover the pit with banana leaves and dry grass (to prevent too much rain getting in and also to prevent evaporation) . In heavy rain season cover with a sheet of plastic so the compost doesn’t drown.

Now your compost is ready to do its work.

Maintenance:

During dry season you’ll have to water it once every week.

Check the temperature by pulling the stick out and touching it: if it’s hot the compost is working well. After a few weeks it will cool down and your soil is done.

Happy composting!

Note: planting acacia trees on your land will serve many purposes: enriching soil, adding to compost (see above) , producing firewood (especially for Rocket stoves) , support bees, give forage and create wind and privacy screens, alley cropping and mulching. Thanks to Trees for the Future for starting us on this path!

 


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