In May I spent a weekend at the Kul Kul Farm in Bali. I learned a zillion things but the highlight had to be learning how to make compost. The farm actually takes food waste from the Green School which is next door. It uses their waste to make compost. The compost is then used to assist with all the veggie growing which, you’ve guessed it, ends up back on the school lunch plates.
As a species we produce far too much waste. Composting is a straight forward way to turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse. Food scraps are transformed into gold dust for the soil. It’s easy to lose sight of where our food comes from. Becoming part of a cycle which gives back was a great experience.
How To Make Compost
Although I have attended other composting workshops , I hadn’t picked up that there are a couple of different techniques. One method uses worms. This techniques is more useful for composting small quantities. Then there is the more traditional composting heap.
I honestly prefer the straight forward approach.Our compost heap was made within a circle of chicken wire. Ours measured a metre in diameter. This size of circle, will give you quite a bit of compost. Your needs might be different and I assume scaling down is fine.
Here are some photos showing the layering process we used:
Assume you have your chicken wire circle. Place a layer of brown material at the bottom. In the photo we used a dried grass but cardboard works just as well. Layer some green material and the food scraps on top of that. Manure and soil along with some water are layered on top of the scraps and green material.Then it’s a layer of the brown stuff again. It you turn with a fork every now and then it help the material break down. It was a great hands on learning experience which really worked for me.
Harvesting Your Own Food
It wasn’t just composting the agenda. We also learned how to save and grow seeds and how to design an edible garden.
Unsurprisingly, my favourite part of the whole weekend was a pick/ harvest and cook experience. We took our shopping list and picked everything up from around the farm. We then prepared and ate in community. It was a really beautiful experience and the food was absolutely delicious.It was pretty funny to be under such close supervision when it came to adding spices. It was made pretty clear when we were being too stingy with the chilli etc.
This is a picture of my team preparing Moringa for our stew (yes the same Moringa we use in supplement form in the West).
Just in case you haven’t come across Moringa here is an article outline the benefits:
The weekend really inspired me to restore my mini gardening projects. I have found it really difficult to source my favourite seeds here in Bali but it’s time to re-double efforts. For those seed that need to be grown in soil, having home made compost to hand, is another money saver.
For anyone who has limited time and space sprouting is a fantastic way to introduce high quality, home grown, nutrition to your diet. Sprouting is also a really fun thing to do with kids and introduces them to the idea of growing their own food.
This link will take you to all the current happenings at the Kul Kul Farm.