As much as you may love compost, one of the biggest challenges is not in knowing how to make it (which we dedicated an entire episode to), but in making enough. (And if you’re into podcasts, we also did a short podcast on how to make compost).
Today we visit Cedar Grove Composting, one of the world’s largest composting facilities, located just north of Seattle, Washington. We go behind the scenes from the moment it’s delivered from all the green waste collected throughout the city, and follow the process to see how it’s transformed to the finished compost we know and love and use in our gardens and landscapes. The basic process is not all that different from how we make compost at home: green waste, brown waste, moisture and oxygen — the four basic ingredients every compost heap needs. They just do it on a massively larger scale. It’s a fascinating journey and a rare opportunity to see how it’s made in such great volume.
Next we stop in to Seattle Tilth, a nationally recognized organization that educates anyone willing to learn about proper gardening techniques with a strong emphasis on organic gardening.There are classes and workshops for all ages, demonstration gardens and the popular Master Composter/Soil Builder program. See the GGW crew participate in one of their introductory classes to making compost.
Finally, it’s back to the GGW Garden Farm in Atlanta for a lesson on how to make a worm composting bin with our own DIY guy, Todd Brock. Composting with worms, known as vermicomposting is favorite method of using common red wiggler worms to help break down the waste, while including their own nutrient rich waste. The end result is the very best compost available. Our vermicompost bin is easy to make and designed and modified specifically by us to maximize the quantity and ease of access to harvest the finished vermicompost as well as the liquid worm leachate. Around the Garden Farm, we use it a lot and consider it the best organic liquid fertilizer ever.
Here’s the best part. While you can watch us make it in this episode, here are the plans for everything you need to know to make it yourself!
For more information:
Suggested books and additional reading:
The Rodale Book of Composting; Easy Methods for Every Gardener by Grace Gershuny
The Complete Compost Gardening Guide, by Deborah L. Martin and Barbara Pleasant
Composting for Dummies, by Cathy Cromell
How to Start a Worm Bin, by Henry Owen
Disclosure: At the time of this post, Joe Lamp’l is the spokesperson for the U.S Composting Council. Additionally, some product links on this page are affiliate links, which means we would get a commission if you purchase. However, none of the prices of these resources have been increased to compensate us. While the commissions are small, any received go towards helping to offset the expenses of bringing this free content to you.