Page 54 - ALG Issue 2 20202
P. 54

East Midlands
Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire, Leicestershire, Derbyshire, Northamptonshire and Rutland
Practical Composting Courses at
Stokes Wood Allotments, Leicester
Neglected compost bins and heaps are a feature of many allotment sites and it would seem some plotholders would prefer a bonfire or paying the council to process their waste or making their own compost. These bins spoil the look of the site and demonstrate a waste
of a valuable means of improving the soil of the allotment. The problem is not confined to allotments; a 2004 survey showed that as many as 40% of householders who had brought a bin and started home composting stopped using it because of a lack of composting knowledge. This led to councils offering leaflets, webpages and training ‘master composters’ to provide support and advice resulting in a reduction in the dropout rate to 8-14%. In recent years this figure has reduced further to 3.9%, which is probably as low as it will go without further intervention. There are a number of reasons for composters dropping out, such as insufficient waste to feed the bins, lack of time, as well
as specific problems relating to lack of knowledge of composting techniques, and specific concerns relating to smells, flies and rats.
From the environmental perspective there is also a problem with cooked food waste, which requires special, quite expensive bins to compost at home, although a pre-compost product suitable to be added to a normal compost bin can be produced using a relatively cheap Bokashi system.
To help increase awareness of composting techniques and increase the scope and rate of composting at home and on allotments, a series
of low-cost training sessions at the Stokes Wood Allotment Composting Demonstration Site, 2B Stokes
holders are faced with the difficulty of dealing with both cooked and uncooked kitchen waste, plus a significant amount of grass if they have a large lawn
Drive, Leicester, LE3 9BS are being scheduled. The course is designed to equip those new to composting with the basic knowledge and practical experience to compost successfully and take remedial action if things go wrong and provide additional information for those already composting.
It is designed for those who have recently taken on a new allotment plot or have purchased or are considering purchasing a compost bin through a council subsidised scheme, as well
as allotment plotholders who wish to extend their knowledge of composting techniques. Allotments and large gardens provide an opportunity for using different composting techniques e.g. trench, lasagne or hot composting, as well as composting solutions to problems with perennial weeds and diseased plant material.
Householders are faced with the difficulty of dealing with both cooked and uncooked kitchen waste, plus a significant amount of grass if they have a large lawn, which can turn anaerobic and smelly if not dealt with correctly.
           54 Allotment and Leisure Gardener

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