A natural composting pit

In continuation to the segregation of waste, eco friendly and sustainable mandates of V for Wood this post introduces you to an experiment in no fuss composting of dry leaves or natural composting. The method of natural composting I'm trying to use is similar to that described in Masanobu Fukuoka's One straw revolution. Pile up the leaves and leave them be.

In the last post I pointed out the 4 collection centers of dry leaves around 42B. And ofcourse when I say 4 collection centers I mean, 2 points on the terrace and 2 points in the garden where I simply pile up the leaves. The last "composting" solution failed due to aesthetics. The 2 tanks in the front garden were simply too ugly for my neighbours to take. Each day I would get a different neighbour give some smart alec comment about the "garbage heap".

So I've bowed down to social pressure and moved the composting solution up onto the terrace.
This time I brought in a good friend VK Baradwaj to help out with suggestions. VK's approach to everything is lazy, scientific and very "lets see". I love this approach. I suits my philosophy very well. VK is also a massive campaigner of no plastic which helps synergise the 2 of us.

I begged for plastic bottles on social media, through V for Wood and within no time 100 bisleri bottles found their way to 42B. Bisleri bottles are pretty terrible things. They dont have much recycle value and hence find their way into landfills. Taking up space and doing little else. SO a solution which incorporated these bottles pleased me no end.

  1. So here is what we are doing with these bottles and the general solution
  2. Fill the bottle up with construction grade gravel or sand, this stuff is inert and won't decompose.
  3. Using these as pillars, we've built a wall. A wall of plastic and bricks to contain the compost material (Dry leaves)
  4. We've emptied out one of the composting bins from the front garden and 8 gonis later we were able to move the entire tank up to the terrace.
  5. One of the larger piles found itself upturn and pushed into the composting pit, much to the consternation of the inhabitants of the pile.
  6. VK, rode off to get some cowdung. We mixed this up with water and poured the slurry into a portion of the composting pit. To the other half we added the rich, black mixture we got from the previous composting pit, this should contain enough bacteria and microbes to get some activity going.

A before and after

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We have to watch the pit carefully for moisture. No composting will take place without sufficient moisture and at the same time too much moisture will have the same effect. I suspect we will have to place a tarp over the pit to keep the insides moist. But again, as I said before, "let's see". Nothing ventured nothing gained.
I keep you guys posted.


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