Healthy Kids

How to compost

Get started with composting, the easy way.

Written by Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation
"Woman gardener using garden fork to first remove uncomposted food waste from top of composting bin pile, before spreading the compost below onto a vegetable garden."

Composting is a regular activity in the kitchen garden. The quantities here are the minimum for a complete ‘layer’ – repeat them for every subsequent layer.


What to do

    1. Add two buckets of browns to the bottom of the compost bay, spreading them evenly.

    2. Add one activator item and water through thoroughly.

    3. Add one bucket of greens and water again.

    4. Cover this with a 1 cm layer of soil.

    5. Continue this layering, or ‘lasagne’, method until you have used up your materials.

    6. When the pile reaches optimum height of 1 m – so that it becomes 1 m3 in volume – it will heat up in the middle. You can monitor the temperature of the pile. As the temperature reduces, it is time to turn the compost into the next bay and start the process again.

    7. Don’t include perennial weeds, poisonous plants, really tough or leathery leaves, infected or diseased plant material, anything that is very acidic (i.e. pine needles), too much citrus or any meat, dairy or bread products.

Written by Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation

The Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation is a not-for-profit charity whose vision is to see children form positive food habits for life. The Foundation provides the inspiration, information, professional development and support for educational institutions to deliver pleasurable food education, in conjunction with educators, partners and the wider community.

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