Chris’s allotment blog

Thursday 12th November 12, 2009

Compost lasagne

Before...

Before...

...After!

...After!

Compost lasagne!

Compost lasagne!

The volume of vegetation I have hacked, weeded and pruned from the allotment over the past few months has reached epic proportions now and has just been piled up in a heap next to compost Bin I. I’ve been meaning to construct Compost Bin II for ages and today was the day I finally got round to it. The traditional allotment compost bin material is, of course, old pallets. I already had one on the allotment and have acquired 3 more recently, two from Transition Sarah (thanks Sarah!)  and one from a chap down the road. I had spotted a pallet in his back garden, left over from his excellent new extension and he kindly let me have it when I knocked on the door to see if it was going spare. Thank you, sir!

With pallets and bits of wood from behind the back of the shed assembled, I set to work…The design kind of evolved to make max use of the pallets and it ended up being a bit of a Monster Bin. It’s lined with that other staple raw material, corrugated iron sheets, also found lying about behind the shed. Beautiful! Then came the job of moving the vegetation heap into its new composting location. I was a bit worried that vermin may have taken up residence and made a nest in the dry grass, so I began pulling it apart fairly cautiously… but the only wildlife I disturbed was a rather sleepy and surprised frog that had been snoozing quietly in a damp clump of leaves. The stuff was mostly very dry, having been in a kind of haystack construction, so to encourage composting I layered the stuff with spade-fulls of soil and a sprinkling of water, a bit like making lasagne (different ingredients, obviously, I usually make lasagne with meat sauce, cheese sauce and pasta layers) but the principle was the same – it was all going to meld together into a tasty dish! Except that the compost will be feeding the allotment, not people…