I've been working with the team at Great Green Systems for a few years now, and I'm always impressed with their excellent customer service. They're very friendly and knowledgeable, and they've always been happy to give me good advice on composting. I recently interviewed them to learn more about their work, and I'm excited to share their insights with you.
To help plan Hot Composting Week, they agreed to travel down from their HQ and meet me. Here is a picture!
How We Got Into Hot Composting
By Mark Halford, Great Green Systems
Most people get into composting through gardening, but my family did it the other way around – we got into gardening through composting, or “leaf moulding” to be precise!
Our garden is surrounded by trees which shed a massive amount of leaves in autumn. For a few years we paid the local council to take away our bags of raked leaves. But there were so many bags that the cost mounted up, so we decided to make our own leaf mould using three large Graf composters.
It was while reading about the great benefits to soil of leaf mould and mulch that we realised what value there was in what is often considered waste. From there we started composting as much of our organic waste as we could, and then realised that if we hot composted we could nutrient recycle even more of our food waste.
Our local authority doesn’t yet operate a separate food waste collection, and probably won’t for a few years yet, so if we didn’t hot compost then most of our waste would be going to landfill or incineration. Once you realise the harm done to the planet by food waste that isn’t composted you can’t go back; you can no longer throw your scraps in any ordinary bin.
The Benefits of Hot Composting
There are many benefits to hot composting, including:
- It can break down food waste and other organic materials much faster than cold composting.
- It can kill weed seeds and pathogens, making it safer to use the compost on your garden.
- It can be done all year round, even in cold weather.
How We Hot Compost
We use a Green Johanna hot composter. It’s a great system because it’s easy to use and maintain, and it produces high-quality compost quickly.
We add a mix of food waste, garden waste, and wood chips to the composter. We also add Bokashi bran to the composter, which helps to break down the food waste and add beneficial microbes.
We turn the compost once a week to help aerate it and keep the temperature up.
The compost is usually ready to use in about 3-4 months.
I asked Mark for some tips.
Top Tips for Hot Composting
- Use a system that is easy to use and maintain.
- Add Bokashi bran to the composter to help break down the food waste and add beneficial microbes.
- Turn the compost regularly to aerate it and keep the temperature up.
We’re really glad we got into hot composting. It’s a great way to reduce our waste, improve our soil, and help the environment. If you’re thinking about getting into composting, we highly recommend hot composting. It’s a great way to go!
If you have any questions about hot composting, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re always happy to help.
Thanks once more to Mark and his team!