Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Taking the kitchen scraps down to the allotment.

Now that the black plastic 'Dalek' composter at home is full, I am taking the kitchen scraps down to the allotment.  There are several different things that I could do with them; I could put them in the worm bin; put them on the compost heap; or bury them in the runner bean trench.

I haven't completed the compost heap containers yet.  I am making them out of old pallets and wiring them together with electrical wire.  I buried most of the pallets that were on the allotment because they had rotted away and more or less fallen apart. I put the pallets under the subsoil with logs and shredded material when triple sieve digging.  So, I don't really have enough good pallets at the new allotment to complete the compost containers yet.  I will either get some from allotment 3A or from the old allotment.  I will have to wait until all the new compost at the old allotment has decomposed before I can dismantle the bins and bring the pallets to the new allotment.

I have used the green manure and the well rotted compost from the old allotment to dig in under the runner bean rows and put up the cane supports which means that it would be difficult to bury the kitchen scraps here.  Beans do seem to respond to good friable well rotted compost being added to their root run  therefore I added quite a lot of this material.  In other words, the beans don't need anything else dug in.

The only thing left is to put the scraps into the worm bin.  I have had the worm bin for several years now and never cleaned it out - until this year.  When I used it at the old allotment, I put rhizomes from mare's tail and bind weed into it to decompose after drying them out.

 Now that it is clean and I have taken it to the new allotment, I have the opportunity to set it up properly again.  The plastic filter was still in good shape but the flower pots holding it above the tap were broken.  I replaced them with two terracotta pots which will not necessarily collapse under the weight of green waste added.  Several bags of kitchen scraps were added and left to decompose.

I will use some of the well rotted compost from the compost bin at home to introduce the worms.

I have just harvested the 'Aalsmeer' winter cauliflowers and processed them by taking off the large leaves and carefully washing the flowers.  All the dead, diseased and damaged material  was taken off and put in the green waste tub.  Egg shells; onion peelings; potato peelings; cut flowers that have gone over and several other vegetable peelings went into the green waste tub this week and I have taken them all down to put into the worm bin.   I really need to raise the worm bin up on slabs so that I can fit a tub underneath the hole at the bottom.  I found an old, cast iron, garden fire brazier buried under the old compost heap and was going to take it down to the waste tip.  However, now I have decided to use it to raise the worm bin off the ground so that I could put a plastic tub under it to catch the liquid.  I was never going to use the brazier for fires so this has saved me a journey to the waste tip.

I have taken the tap off the worm bin because the worm liquid can just drip out and into a container.  I will put the worm bin liquid into the big green comfrey butts to mix with the comfrey tea.

I am going to set up both of the big green, comfrey butts at the new allotment putting them onto a plinth of concrete slabs.  One will definitely go by the little shed and the other will probably go beside it if there is room.  Until my comfrey bed is established at the new allotment, I will use the comfrey from the old allotment to put into the butts.

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