Anthony is the team’s ‘man in Europe’

'I’ve had four composters since moving into my house in 2005 and whatever the season there’s always something to add to them. Situated at the back of the garden I haven’t moved them, even though I know they’d probably be a bit more efficient in a sunnier spot. Back in 2005 too I put them on paving slabs with no real ill-effects. I think the soil organisms and creatures sniff out the decomposing stuff and make their way into the bins regardless.

I add garden waste and organic kitchen waste collected in a kitchen caddy which I take down to the compost bins every few days. I don’t add pernicious weeds like bindweed and try to filter out the larger twigs and sticks that come from the garden too. I occasionally throw some torn-up cardboard or paper into the mix along. Finally I do give the contents of all the bins a good turn over with a garden fork when they are half full and again when three quarters full (you need a bit of muscle power at this stage).

Every spring I open the two bins with most in them to find a good quarter of the mix is ready to be used around the garden – I leave the remains to continue to compost down after giving it a good mix. Aerating the compost really does seem to accelerate the whole process so it’s well worth the effort.’

Anthony's bins in summer

Using four composters simultaneously is heroic but may mean that compost ingredients are shared out or just put into the nearest bin leaving three others to dry out or sit with wet ingredients. Why not have a go at filling one, layer by layer, leaving it to mature and begin another, and so on? Let me know how you get on, Annie.


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