Why make compost?
The waste mountain is a major problem, yet more than half of our rubbish is biodegradable and can be composted. The nutrients that we take from the earth are now primarily replaced with artificial fertilisers, which are expensive to manufacture. Natural nutrients, which are free and can be found in our rubbish bins, currently lie on a waste mountain, which is becoming ever larger and more impossible to control.
But despite all the gloomy figures about how much we waste and throw away (320 kg of rubbish per person per year), the future is looking brighter. More and more people are starting to make compost, and finding meaning and happiness in turning their rubbish into nutritious compost. We are beginning to participate in Nature's cycle and are becoming conscious about what we buy, use and throw away.
Sorting at source begins in the kitchen
This is where you must begin separating the glass, plastic and metal from the material, which can be composted. Simply add another bin in your kitchen and separate the waste that can be composted from that which cannot. All food waste can be composted: vegetables, fruit, dairy products, bread, bones, fish remains, soup and eggshells. Coffee filters containing coffee grounds, tea bags, household paper, egg cartons, and wilted flowers and pot plants can also be added to the compost. Grass clippings, leaves, twigs, weeds, bark, etc. can also be composted. It is recommended to cut the waste into small pieces, as this gives the micro organisms more surface area to work on, producing compost more quickly!
The stirring stick...
...is an accessory that helps you aerate the compost effectively. It is made of wood and has two movable metal blades at one end. It is also an ideal tool for removing the final compost.
No ordinary compost system
Green Johanna allows us to compost all our food waste. This means bones, bread, dairy, eggshell, fish, fruit, meat, soup and vegetables can all be used and composted, as well as coffee filters, teabags, household papers, egg cartons, wilted flowers and dead pot plants.
Green Johanna allows us to make compost all the year round. No matter how cold the outside temperature, we can make compost 12 months a year thanks to the special shape and the winter jacket.
Green Johanna produces the finest quality compost. The final product is fully broken down and appears as a moist, nutrient-rich soil, the ultimate treat for our favourite garden plants.
Green Johanna features adjustable ventilation. With the lockable lid the variations in compost temperature and quality can easily be adjusted and controlled.
Green Johanna is easy to empty. Unlike most compost systems which must be emptied by dismantling or digging from the top.
Green Johanna allows us to draw only the completed compost from the bottom without disturbing the process that is continuing above.
1. How do you start?
Cover the whole base plate with a loose layer of twigs and other coarse garden material to a depth of 10-20 cm. This should be covered with a layer of fine garden waste, followed by mature compost or soil. You can now begin to add your household waste. In the winter, you follow the same process, also adding one or two bucketfuls of farmyard manure or compost from an ongoing composting process.
2. The importance of layering
It is important to layer garden and household waste properly. The best combination is one part garden waste (or soil, planing shavings, sawdust) to two parts kitchen scraps. Layers of one substance should never be too thick. Don't forget to scatter and mix the material as finely as possible, as this helps to speed up the process.
Mix and aerate the uppermost layer of the compost every time you add new material. This ensures that the micro-organisms, which live and work in the compost, are able to do their job successfully. Once in a while, it is necessary to aerate the compost deeper down. This is done by carefully moving the stirring stick up and down in the compost.
4. Covering new waste
As you add new waste, the compost will shrink. Always cover the new household waste with garden litter. You won't usually have to buy garden litter. It is to your own advantage to make your own from hedge clippings, trimmings from bushes and trees and other garden waste, this can be done by hand or simply by using a garden shredder. This is the best litter for your compost and, during the autumn, you should save garden waste to use in winter.
5. When is it ready and how do you empty it out?
Depending on the conditions the compost will be ready after four to six months. It looks and feels like soil, smells good, is pleasant to the touch and crumbles readily. The easiest way to empty your Green Johanna is to remove the composted material through the two doors at the base. That way, you'll only get mature compost, and you'll avoid having to sort and start the process over again. It's even better if you have two or more Johannas, as you'll be able to let the compost in one mature fully while you continue adding to the other. Try to organise your composting process, so that you have humus ready in time for spring, when you need the nutrients for your plants.
6. Where do you put the mature compost?
The mature compost, which has become humus, can be spread on the earth all year round (e.g. around trees, bushes and on vegetable patches). The compost can be dug in, but if the mulch is not ready, the decomposition process will continue and steal the oxygen from the plants. In the autumn, however, half-ready compost is ideal for digging in to the earth. You can also let the compost lie and mature in a simple container or in a covered heap if you do not need it straight away.
7. There is no better compost than home-made compost
No soil is as nutritious and of such high quality as that which comes from a hot compost and which contains both garden and household waste. The compost produced in Green Johanna is a rich nutrient supplement for your garden. You'll notice the difference in everything you grow: vegetables will taste better and flowers will grow and flourish!
The Winter Jacket...
...is made of foam polyethylene. The winter jacket should be fitted when the average outdoor temperature consistently falls below 5°C, and removed when the temperature is constantly above 10°C.
It is essential that the winter jacket is removable during the process, otherwise the compost will burn, in which event the microorganisms die and the process is halted.