PDC Week 3

This Saturday’s PDC session was on soils, composting and a (too) brief overview of food forests including plant identification and families.

The composting workshop, which comprised a theoretical and practical component, I found really useful. I was dubious I’d learn anything new as we had covered composting in the intro course but I guess it mustn’t have sunk in properly as I realised I was still doing it wrong. All the pee on my compost heap is not going to help it heat up if I don’t get my ratios right! It’s 30:1 (carbon/dry/brown to nitrogen/green/manure) in case anyone is interested.  My heap at home is probably closer to 50:50 which is why it’s sitting there in a sodden heap (uncovered and deluged by recent storms) not doing a damn thing. But it’s not a lost cause yet. 

It’s a sad thing to admit, but I think composting really is awesome. The ability to turn general household waste, which would ordinarily be thrown into the rubbish bin and then landfill, into rich, perfectly balanced plant food in 3-4 weeks (if you do it right) seems like an incredible secret that nobody tells you. It’s so easy yet it seems hardly anyone does it. Why? Is it space constraints? Time? Effort? Or does no-one know how? I know it’s probably all of the above. Those of us who have discovered the secret should sing it from the rooftops. Yes, I realise how ridiculous and fanatical that sounds but when you pay $400 as I just did for a couple of garden beds worth of organic vegetable concentrate soil mix then composting begins to make real financial sense, if nothing else.

Soil testing
Making compost