THE Urban Bush-Carpenters have been on assignment at the Merri Corner Community Garden. We were commissioned to build three sturdy compost bays, and we did it with style. I think they’d survive a cyclone – which may be just as well, given Melbourne’s recent tropical weather.
The bays have hardwood frames, fortified with sleepers at the base. We used tin for the cladding, the dividers and the top of the hinging lids.
The lids particularly pleased UBC stalwart Ste Hiley, otherwise known as Tall English Stephen.
To build them, we drilled holes through the rear posts, large enough so that the coach bolts would fit through loosely, then screw tightly into the lid cross piece, one at each end. As a result, the lids are sturdy and rotate freely.
“These bolt hinges are our P.O.D.” Ste enthused one morning, and then had to explain to me that P.O.D. stood for Point Of Difference. “I’ve told everyone about them.”
“Who’ve you told?”
“Well, no one really. But they’re amazing.”
It’s true: they are nifty. Also nifty is the size of the bays. They’re a bit larger than one square metre, which is the golden mean for hot composting.
Inside our bays, the community gardeners will be able to make piles that generate enough heat in the middle to cook an egg. The heat rapidly breaks down the organic matter and kills off weed seeds and pathogens. If the folk at Merri Corner remember to turn the piles regularly, they could have rich, sweet smelling compost in as little as a few weeks.