All About Our Compost
EBGA is committed to sustainable practices by fostering an appreciation for organic gardening. In 2021 our gardeners worked to build and upkeep a New Zealand Style Compost Bin, helping reduce garden waste, lowering our carbon footprint, and enriching the soil of our garden.
How Our Compost Happens
Our garden waste is transformed and decomposed through the work of tiny soil organisms and fungi into rich compost.
Our gardeners put their garden waste into the first bin (the most north facing bin). After a month it decomposes to about half its size, then is moved to the middle bin. By the end of the growing season the compost has broken down entirely and has been moved to the third bin and is ready to use in our gardens!
The trick to making an abundance of compost in a short time is to balance the following four things:
Carbon. Carbon-rich materials are energy for microorganisms. You can identify high carbon plant materials because they are dry, tough, or fibrous, and tan or brown in color. Examples are dry leaves, straw, shredded paper, cardboard and cornstalks.
Nitrogen. High-nitrogen materials provide the protein for microorganisms so they can grow and multiply. Freshly pulled weeds, fresh grass clippings, and other moist green matter are the sorts of nitrogen-rich materials.
Water. Moisture is very important for the composting process. But too much moisture will drown the microorganisms, and too little will dehydrate them. A general rule of thumb is to keep the material in your compost pile as moist as a well-wrung sponge
Oxygen. To do their work most efficiently, microorganisms require oxygen. Tilling and aerating our compost pile often helps make sure there is plenty of oxygen and also ensures its odor is minimal.