THE GOOD EARTHHot Compost
How many of you out there still do not have a composting system of some kind?
There’s no excuse, even if you only have a small balcony, everyone should be composting their kitchen scraps instead of it going to landfill.
- You just need some space for your compost.
- you could have compost bays, compost bins, or any structure that can hold up to 1 cubic metre of compost.
|Compost bins at Margaret's House: Photo by Margaret Mossakowska|
You can even make a compost heap without building or buying anything.
I'm talking with Margaret Mossakowska from www.mosshouse.com.au
Let’s find what to do .
Vermin: put Rapid mesh under you bins if you have rodents invading your compost.
Alternatively, put food scraps into a worm farm, and use you compost bins just for green waste.
Worm farm that is smelly:
- Too many food scraps will make the worm farm smelly and anaerobic. Mainly nitrogen rich.
note: coffee chaff is free by-product of coffee roasting, that is husks of coffee beans. You just need to ask.
- To make a hot compost you need to assemble at least 1 cubic metre of material in one go.
- Wait for it to heat up to 55-60 C, usually after 2-3 days, then you can turn it.
- Use a compost thermometer so the compost doesn't get over 60 C. This temperature is enough to kill weed seeds and insect eggs.
- Commercial compost is biologically dead because it is heated to more than 70 C.
- Ratios are important: 4 buckets of carbon rich material to 1 bucket of green clippings/food scraps.
- Molasses can be added to compost to innoculate it, or use comfrey, nettles, nasturtium soaked in a bucket of water.
If you have any questions, why not email firstname.lastname@example.org or write in to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.
VEGETABLE HEROESWhich Potato Shall You Grow?
- Did you know that Potatoes are a vegetable that is one of the most energy-giving foods there is, because of the starch and carbohydrates in them? Farmers in the Andes Mountains of South America first discovered the potato 7,000 years ago
- Other than eating ,potatoes are used to brew vodka and Potato starch is used in the food industry as a thickener and binder for soups and sauces and, in the textile industry as an adhesive, and for the manufacturing of papers and boards.
- A potato left too long in the light will begin to turn green.The green skin contains a substance called solanine which can cause the potato to taste bitter and green potatoes can upset the stomach, so don’t try them.
- Always grow potatoes from Certified Seed Potatoes from reputable suppliers.
|Cranberry Red Potato|
|Royal Blue Potato|
- They need lots of sunshine because the soil needs to be warm for them to grow their very best.
- They also need loose soil that isn’t too wet or too dry. If the ground is too wet, the potatoes will rot in the ground.
- Potatoes plants are started from the buds or ‘eyes’ of an existing potato. You can cut the potato into pieces and plant them with the bud or ‘eye’ facing up.
- You will need to hill the rows or potato container several times until the potatoes have flowered. You need to do this to stop the greening of tubers and also protect them from potato moth. Also, hilling up the soil and mulch will give you more potatoes as they tend to form on roots near the surface. That means, as you pile up the soil, you get new roots, and more potatoes....
- Keep the water up and but only water moderately as potatoes will rot in soil that is too wet. They can also get a fungus growing inside them if the soil’s too wet.When you cut them open, they’ll have grey patches inside which actually do taste mouldy. Euwwww!
- You can add fish emulsion and seaweed extract when you’re watering too.
- Plant the seed potatoes at the bottom, let them grow to about 50cm,( so with your ruler that’s almost 2 x ruler heights) then, over the top and add 8cm of soil, let them grow a little more, add some more soil, and so on, in the end a stack of potatoes.
- Pick your potatoes when the vine has died down to the ground, that’s if you want the most potatoes, but they can be harvested from when the first baby potatoes are formed.
- The lower leaves should be turning yellow – this happens about 3 to 4 weeks after flowering.
|Harvesting Potatoes When The Vine Has Died Down|