Compost is by definition the decaying plant material that is added to soil to improve its quality and it is nature’s way of recycling nutrients. 

We use a traditional method of mixing green material (mostly cut grass, nettles, docks, thistles), woody material from our hedge laying and woodland management (we also sell well seasoned logs), poultry manure and any other natural material we have on the farm in equal proportion.

Compost is either anaerobic in which case it takes a long time to decompose or it is possible to use an aerobic method using a windrow turning machine, by adding oxygen you allow the beneficial microorganisms to break the material down much more rapidly and the heat generated by those microorganisms kills any pathogens present, we heat our compost to 65oC resulting in an end product that smells like the forest floor and teaming with beneficial microscopic soil food web life.

This is the start of our food chain producing a living soil that feeds the plant roots in exchange for root exudates, plant roots feed our pasture which in turn feeds our livestock, to give us a healthy soil, healthy animals and a healthy diverse ecosystem which can sequest carbon dioxide back into the soil.

Further information:-

The Hidden Half of Nature: The Microbial Roots of Life and Health by Anne Biklé and David R. Montgomery

An Agricultural Testament by Sir Albert Howard, C.I.E., M.A. Formerly Director of the Institute of Plant Industry Indore, and Agricultural Adviser to States in Central India and Rajputana 1943 Oxford University Press New York and London

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