Building Soil From Scraps

Compost has been flavour of the month here at NACC NRM recently, and really what’s not to love!?

On Saturday 12 September, the NACC NRM RALF team of Lizzie and Belle, headed out to the beautiful Nukara Farm to support Desert Blue Connect’s Whole Woman Whole Earth Event. The day-long event was kicked off by a panel which included our very own CEO, Katherine Allen. The RALF team delivered a very popular one-hour workshop on compost and waste management, with support from NACC NRM’s Bushcare Officer Jarna. The team engaged a number of enthusiastic women who were keen to get their hands dirty and learn some tips for getting started with home composting.

In an ideal world, no organic waste would ever end up in landfill, instead it would all be recycled into compost, and then returned to the soil where it can really work its magic and increase soil health. No matter where you live, you can undertake composting in one form or another and this was one of the key take home messages for the day.

Belle, Lizzie and Jarna ran through several compost making methods for backyard gardeners, including trench composting, lasagne beds and sheet mulching, compost bins and tumblers, the differences between hot and cold composting, bokashi bins, worm farms and of course chickens (who will do all the hard work for you, plus provide you with delicious eggs!).

After covering some of the dos and don’ts, Carbon(brown), Nitrogen(green)ratios, pitfalls and how to correct/avoid them, the group moved to hands-on activities. With the help of Belle, Lizzie and Jarna, each participant made their own worm towers or ‘worm hotel’ and were given some composting worms to take home and get their composting journey underway. The ‘worm hotels’ are well suited to use in raised beds, wicking beds or even very large pots. Each tower is a mini compost system, with vegetable scraps added from the top for worm food, and the worm waste and worm castings improving the surrounding soil as they seep away. Be sure to keep them as cool and moist as you can over the hot summer months.

The keen participants also enjoyed making seed bombs, using a mix of compost, clay and water, with everlasting seeds collected from Lizzie’s very own luscious garden. These can be thrown into desired areas, towards the end of the summer, and will break apart, allowing the seeds to germinate with the cooler season rains. Many different seeds can be used; however, it is important that seed bombs containing potential weeds are not to be used in areas where they could pose a threat to native flora.

The Whole Woman Whole Earth event was designed to help women to reconnect minds and bodies with the land, and gardening ticks all of the boxes as well as creating something beautiful – and hopefully edible – along the way.

If you would like any further information on composting or minimal waste living, please contact our Regional Agriculture Landcare Facilitators:

Annabelle Garratt (E) [email protected] or (P) 0448 986 879

Lizzie King (E) [email protected] or (P) 0447 361 335

This event was supported by NACC NRM, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

Annabelle Garratt & Lizzie King – Regional Agriculture Landcare Facilitators

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2 comments

How does one get invited to such events?
Secondly can vegetation seeds be made into such bombs & thrown around in tree corridors to build up the diversity of plants?

Hi Yvonne,
Sorry you missed the event! Check out our events section on our website ( https://www.nacc.com.au/events/ ) for any upcoming events that might interest you, or keep an eye on our Facebook!
Great question about the vegetation seed bombs – we will look into it! Could be a great little back yard experiment!

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