What I realized after trying to create an 18 day compost pile is that in Thailand, composting is best done by nature itself with minimal human intervention. What I didn’t do with my pile, however, was “shred the leaves into tiny pieces the size of my thumb”. That definitely slowed things down.
Even though my compost pile was reacting, I had another pile somewhere which was just a bunch of collected leaves which had been lying there for quite a while actually. But digging a few inches under that, I saw this super rich compost, dark and crumbly, and riddled with stag beetle larvae, which are really good for enriching the soil.
I realized that I was being too difficult with my compost pile, especially since I saw that what I was doing was only half working.
In central Thailand, everything works a little differently than in the temperate climates I see a lot of the permaculture happening. Adjusting to the tropical conditions is therefore a good idea, and one of the ways is by simply letting composting just happen, without paying too much attention to turning piles and so on. We are, however, planning to get a leaf shredder in future, so I might try my 18 day experiment again if time permits. I’m curious to see if it’ll work at all. I might want to construct a proper compost bin as well to keep everything under control easier. I like the idea of a roof instead of covering the compost pile with tarp as more oxygen can then get to everything. There’s a lot more still to learn and I’m doing what I can now to gain the knowledge necessary.
Hopefully I’ll keep more updated about this too. Until next time!