Hot compost – one year on
Well it’s been about one year since we started hot composting with our Green Johanna, and we have yet to get any compost from it, but then again we have yet to fill it (as of today it is only ¾ full)!
We set out to reduce our waste to landfill, and we have; we now throw out between ¼ and ½ a bag of rubbish a week, which is about half of what we threw out a year ago. This wasn’t all due to composting however, most of the reduction in waste is due to Bella no longer using nappies, our cats no longer needing cat litter (they have started going somewhere in the garden as of this summer) and we have stopped throwing out so much food (we have gone from two food tubs a week to one once every two weeks).
But I think if we hadn’t started with the Green Johanna we would probably have never become aware of just how much food we were wasting, which in itself has not only made us more eco-friendly, but also reduced our food bill significantly!
This coming year we are going to have to work out what to do with the contents of the compost bin (I doubt we will still be waiting to fill it a year from now!), originally I hoped to dispose of it via soil recycling, and later was going to give it to a friend of mine. But (sorry Lindsay) the stinky sludge that the composter has produced is nothing I’d like to bag up and give to a friend, nor is it something I think they’d except at the local recycling centre. However since this year we have started doing some more folksy things (like making jelly and chutney), I’m hoping to mix the sludge with our barren garden soil (it has now spent two years as a patch of mud, nothing will grow except one very poorly looking nettle) magically turn the mixture into loam and grow some vegetables.
OK, we will see.
I thought I’d finish by listing all the things I’ve learnt about using the Green Johanna (and getting rid of cat litter);
- Keep mixing (aerating) the pile
- Make sure you add plenty of carbon (shredded newspaper etc)
- Don’t get the pile too wet
- Mixing in soil helps things along
- Cat litter takes forever to break down