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The Low-Down On Homemade Composting Processes

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by Dorothy “Dotty” Dutton
(California, USA)

Generally, there are two types of composting processes: residential or home-based and industrial composting processes. Each type of process has different techniques associated with it.

Home-based composting is growing in popularity because it is easily implemented in homes; all it would take would be a willing mind and some manual labor on the part of the composting enthusiast.

A clear advantage of home-based composting is the minimal need for machinery and other equipment that industrial composting requires.

However, it will not be able to be at par with the capacity of industrial composting systems. Here are some of the types of home-based composting processes that a potential composting expert can use in his quest.

Composting Toilet

The use of a composting toilet or pit is one of the most popular methods of small scale composting in both urban and rural residences. The composting toilet is convenient, easy to set up and quite simple to monitor and mix.

The composting toilet is a bit tricky, however, since it will require you to orient your family members about it especially if your composting activities burgeon to larger proportions.

It may also be very difficult to distinguish the materials in cases where you need to monitor carbon to nitrogen ratio due to its simplicity. But it is is still widely used and accepted in most homes as a good method for small scale composting.

Open or Closed Bin Composting

The use of composting bins has been very useful for many people, especially those who are particularly drawn to compartmentalizing and organizing the composting activity.

In some cases, a composting toilet or pit may not be easily cleaned; this is where the advantage of the compost bin comes in. the compost bin will ensure that the composting process will remain under your control.

Especially with closed bin composting techniques, you can more directly observe the variables affecting your compost pile, as it is not exactly exposed to external elements that can actually affect the compost greatly when accumulated over time.

German Mound

Also known as a Magic mound, the German method consists of forest elements such as wastes from wood-rich gardens, clippings from hedges, prunings, bashwood and brassica stems. These objects will then be placed in a circular trench, which is about 5 inches in width and an inch deep.

Another hole is dug at a center, an additional inch deeper than the outer circle, and this is where most of the rough materials are placed.

From this, layers and layers of manure, wasted leaves and compost are added. Apparently, the results of the German mound is good for the soil in the next 4 or 5 years that it is installed in the land.

Ecuador Style of Composting

When you are involved in some composting that are comprised of tree trunk or banana stalks, then you are up for some Ecuadorian treat in composting.

Embedding the whole pit with tree trunk or banana stalks, then placing the organic matter in an interspersed manner for each layer, helps segregate the compost materials more efficiently.

This will take up a lot of space, because it only gets watered after the pile gets to a height of a meter and a bit beyond that. But the good thing is that the high pile need not last forever.

The people of Ecuador often wait for it to settle down, remove the top layer and aerate it and repeat the process for more humus production.

Click here to read more about DIY garden compost

Updated: November 11, 2012 — 5:08 am

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