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The Great Christmas Carbon Fest

Updated: Mar 4, 2022

It's a big warm job for cold Christmas weather – emptying and spreading the year's supply of lovely compost.

The first step is to peel away the fibrous top and front layers. This fibrous material will not blend into the soil under rotavation but it will serve as a good mulch for soft fruits, rhubarb and artichokes.

I put quite a few wheelbarrow loads into the bottom of the deep trench I dig each year to feed my summer crop of runner beans. When the trench has been back-filled we can just spread out the excess earth , smooth it out and then rotavate to complete the job.


Bean Trench 2

We have added a second trench to try a new crop of climbing beans, Borlotti or Coco Blanc - watch this space!


Here you can see the wonderful mass of “real compost” all ready for spreading. This year we got a bumper load – it took 32 wheelbarrows to empty (nice warm work for a winter's day!).

It is not hard to work out that over the 12 months we have been collecting green vegetation (weeds, root tops, scything from the orchard, etc.) the end result is something like 2.5 tons of carbon rich humus to feed the soil. This “harvest” from about 1000 square yards of green growth compares well with estimates that atmospheric carbon harvested by a growing green field is about 4 tons per acre per year.


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