Insight: Compost – the gardener’s gold (09.12.2020)

Compost – the gardener’s gold and our key to sustainable soil preparation. But how exactly do we go about it? Take a look at our day-to-day project work and find out what is involved in successful project work.

If you have a garden, you have a compost heap. Usually we throw our harvest waste on the compost, sometimes we shovel some soil between the layers and wait until it turns into well rotten compost in about two years. We let nature do the work. This form of composting is also called cold composting.

In our projects we need the compost faster and more often because the soil leaches very quickly due to the extreme climatic conditions. Here we depend on so-called hot composting, which means that the rotting process is stimulated to have ready to use compost within a few months.

For this purpose, the individual layers should be kept in balance, the material should be compacted and – always add moisture, otherwise the microorganisms cannot work. And don’t be afraid to use urine – both animal and human – as it contains a lot of phosphorus.

And this is how it works:

Now you can proceed in two ways, one is to dig a pit and fill it in layers to the edge. . .

. . . . . . or you can create a compost mound . . .

©Sabab Lou

Important in any case: balanced layers of fresh and dry biomass, soil, ashes, dung and constant humidity. It is necessary to use sticks to let the heat that forms escape. Because the compost should be warm, not hot – then the humus formation works best. Turning the compost over every two weeks accelerates the rotting process.

The result:

©Sabab Lou

After about three months we can dig out wonderful compost. This way we maintain the fertility of the soil, in the best case the nutrient content increases and balances the acid-base content, measured by the pH-value. The improved structure of the soil is also the best protection against erosion.

In the Gambian youth project we were able to increase the pH-level of the soil from 5.0 to 6.0 through consistent and continuous composting!

And we will not stop producing more ‚gardener´s gold‘.

©Sabab Lou

„Creating jobs together“ is a daily adventure for us. Take a look at our everyday project life with us.

Implementing a successful project requires a lot of strength, endurance and trust. Together with our project partners, we develop and accompany projects that offer a sustainable perspective in rural areas. Our more than 10 years of project work have always been characterized by ups and downs, successes and failures. But what makes the difference for us are the people we are allowed to work with and the little stories of the daily project routine.

We are in daily contact with our project partners on site and are therefore – despite the physical distance – close to the action. We would like to share with you the many small stories, the small successes or challenges in the daily project routine. „Insight“ is thus your insight into the everyday life of the projects on site.

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