Working the organic compost heap

Inside the ancient Abbey kitchen garden and the allotment that produced potatoes and apples for the war effort during WWII, the tended walled allotment garden that has produced organic food for hundreds of years … near the long wall, next to my plot, is the organic compost heap.

Today’s job is to partly clear the organic compost heap that has remained undisturbed for … probably ten years. At least ten years: people have been dropping things into it since I arrived eight years ago. It was full then and I know hasn’t been processed for that long. Possibly longer than ten years

Here’s a list of things I found as I started to fork over the heap … 🥺😩😢 …

  • Metal wire coat hanger
  • Rolled up metal toothpaste tube
  • Nylon string (lots of small pieces)
  • Plastic tent pegs
  • Plastic netting
  • Broken glass ornament
  • Children’s plastic toys
  • Plastic water pipe
  • Metal bucket handle
  • Unrecognisable burnt plastic blobs
  • Plastic seedling trays
  • Broken plastic plant pots
  • Metal wires
  • Broken metal gardening implements
  • A plastic watering can nozzle
  • Polystyrene trays (smashed up into pieces — they were the worst!)
  • Assortment of plastic bags of different kinds: open, ripped, closed and also full of plastics
  • Silver plastic squares for scaring birds
  • General plastic pipes
Never ever going to be organic compost

I’ve cleaned it all up. But as I was digging it out of the hole in the ground, I realised that it was just about to be sent to the council tip general waste landfill.

I must ensure this never happens again … maybe several of these would work … https://organicgardeningadvise.com/how-to-use-compost-tumbler/