“It’s not the soil itself – it’s the soil life that is the most important element” – Geoff Lawton

I have realised that I have accidentally neglected mentioning that the system I am using for compost creation I learned from Geoff Lawton. The video below is a trailer from Geoff’s Soils DVD. I have attempted to make compost previously and I have never been happy with the results. The system I used to use was to periodically through kitchen waste, lawn clippings, chicken manure and other organic matter into a large plastic composting bin. I would turn the contents every week and add water if it looked too dry. This would continue for around 2 months till I lost interest in it as it wasn’t really doing anything. 6 months later I would check the contents and find that some if it had broken down. I would remove the lower levels that had turned into compost and renew the pile with additional matter. This system took more than half a year to work, and it only processed half the pile at a time. I would end up with half a wheelbarrow of compost to divide between my plants. The effort was way too high for such a low output. While listening to the survival podcast I noticed that Jack kept talking about Geoff Lawton. One of my friends lent me Geoff’s DVDs and I began watching these. I would normally watch them in the evening and (no offense intended to Geoff Lawton) I would usually fall asleep within 15 minutes of the DVD. I lay the fault of this on the fact that I was tired from a long day and it was close to my bedtime. In addition, the DVDs are filled with long stretches of images of nature, relaxing new age music, broken by short moments of Geoff talking about his Permaculture system. It wasn’t till I reached the Soil DVD that I really took notice of the process. Geoff gets into the meat of the process by explaining compost and his method of its creation. Using Geoff’s system I have experienced a massive improvement to my compost creation. Where it used to take me the majority of a year to create a small amount, I am creating at least double that amount in 1 month using Geoff’s system, and that is when then the system fails. When the system works I should get ten times the amount! For additional information on this method of compost creation, as well as other aspect of Permaculture, check the Permaculture Research Institute (PRI) of Australia’s website. If you would like to hear more of Geoff’s theories, check out this presentation he gave last year.

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