It’s almost time to close the chapter on our former homestead, as new folks are ready to move in. I just couldn’t help but break a sweat one last time to get into shape before they take over stewardship.


Bolted spring crops ready for the compost pile

The spring vegetables had bolted to the sky. Groundcovers were eagerly encroaching on the pathways. The hardy kiwi vine was no longer happy just climbing the pergola and had it’s sights on the roof. Taming that jungle produced a mountain of garden debris, which will turn into a mountain of nutrient-rich compost.


Thick layer of “greens”, about 12″ thick

I started some fresh piles using a simple lasagna-method – making thick layers on top of each other with browns and greens. The used chicken bedding are the “browns” and the garden debris are the “greens”. Each layer is about 12″ thick and will shrink quite a bit in the next couple weeks.


Thick layer of “browns” laid onto top of the “greens” and topped with some finished compost

You can jumpstart the decomposition process by topping off each layer with some finished compost from a nearby pile. That inoculates the new lasagna layers with microbes that are ready to work. Once your done piling the new layers as high as you can, spray the pile down with water – just enough so it’s damp, but not dripping wet.


Jumpstart the decomposition process by adding some finished compost to your fresh compost piles

I finished the day by loading a finished pile of compost into the cleared out raised beds. Not only do the new residents have a well-tamed garden to immediately enjoy, they will also have some nutrient-rich, homemade compost ready for their next round of planting in a month or two.


Finished compost ready for the vegetable beds

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Written by Renee Wilkinson