Project/Compost project fall 2008

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Project steward

Shannon Cowan


Covered hot compost piles located immediately in garden for existing soil amendment and garden bed expansion.


One to six piles of compost will be created over the next 6-12 months immediately adjacent to existing fenced garden space. Nitrogen-rich or 'green' materials such as kitchen scraps, grass clippings and hair will be mixed 1:1 with carbon-rich 'brown' materials such as egg cartons, cardboard, pint containers, dry leaves, wood chips or sawdust.

Goal or deliverable

  1. 1mX1mX1m piles of hot compost created from "green" and "brown" raw materials
  2. finished compost available for personal kitchen gardens and/or Ecoreality community garden for planting season 2009

Timeline, schedule, or end date

Begin Sept 2008 with materials gathering and building piles.


  1. assemble 'green' and 'brown' materials in designated piles beside existing garden E fence
  2. cut up each type of material to 2 inch or smaller particles
  3. build one test pile with 15 cm layer of 'brown'
  4. add water to wet that layer thoroughly
  5. 15 cm layer of 'green', thoroughly wetted
  6. mix these two layers well
  7. repeat steps 3-6 until pile reaches about 1m height X 1m width X 1m length
  8. cover with tarp, black plastic, or fabric (least desirable)
  9. measure temperature with thermometer in center of pile, once 50-60 deg C is reached and it starts to drop, time to turn pile and re-cover
  10. monitor pile weekly until thin grey layer of mold appears just under surface and larger pieces appear to be gone
  11. mix with other soils and plant new bed as is, or move to amend existing/new garden beds

Financial budget

cost of covering plastic (10$ for 2 piles) and thermometer (20$ or less? estimate)

Labor budget

  • assembly of materials for one pile: 2 hours
  • building one pile: 30 mins
  • monitoring one pile: 10 mins weekly for 4-6 months
  • repeat for additional piles

Final accounting

No money was spent and no hours logged against this project.

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