|Berkley Rapid Composting Method
Shredding and Frequent Turning
|This process can produce compost in 2 to 3 weeks. Several factors are essential to the rapid composting method:|
|1||Small pieces (chopped) – I use a mulching mower on the lowest setting|
|2||Maintain a Carbon:Nitrogen (C:N) ratio of 30:1 when adding materials
Mixing equal volumes of green plant material with naturally dry plant material generally yields such a ratio; however, see table on the next tab.
|3||Once a pile has been started, nothing should be added, because it takes a certain length of time for the material to break down, and anything added has to start at the beginning, thus lengthening the decomposition time for the whole pile.|
|4||Excess material should be as dry as possible during storage until a new pile is started. Moist stored materials start to decompose and therefore will not be effective in the compost pile.|
|5||Nothing needs to be added to the organic materials to make them decompose. The micro-organisms active in the decomposition process are ubiquitous where plant materials are found and develop rapidly in any compost pile.|
|6||Moisture content of materials in the pile should be 50% (like a damp sponge)|
|7||The pile should be at least 3’x3’x3′ in size.|
|8||The most rapid decomposing micro-organisms function at about 160 °F, and a bin helps the pile maintain that temperature.|
|9||The compost pile needs to be turned to prevent it from overheating and to replenish oxygen, else the micro-organisms will be killed and beneficial decomposition will cease. The longer the interval between turning, the longer it will take for the composting to finish.|
|10||If the procedure is followed properly, a pile will heat to a high temperature within 24-48 hours.|
|11||Success can be detected by:
As composting nears completion, the temperature drops and, finally, little or no heat is produced. The compost is then ready to use.