Our passion for compost began in 2008, after purchasing Little Billabong Station. The farm had suffered years of drought, overstocking, with large areas of erosion, and depleted soils. We researched ways to regenerate the soils, with compost being the most sustainable, chemical free and achievable way.
Composting also would partner well with our organic/holistic farming principles, including minimal chemical inputs. Applying compost would provide organic matter to the surface soil, vastly improving the physical, chemical and biological properties, producing healthier soils with increased fertility.
Our composting venture started primarily as a way to improve our own property. As we looked for ways to improve the property, we could see that conventional farming with large chemical fertiliser inputs was not a sustainable way to build our soils.
We learnt that the role of the soil micro-biology was key to growing healthy soils, (a fact often misunderstood by many farmers) as it’s the microbes that act as the transport system of the nutrients in the soil.
One way to build our soils & restore the workforce of microbes into the soil was with compost.
The process of making high quality compost is a rather involved process, but any material that was once living can be composted.
Attention to detail is essential in making good quality compost, with emphasis on the carbon to nitrogen ratios of your ingredients, combined with regular monitoring of the temperature, moisture and oxygen levels in the compost pile. All key to providing ideal conditions for the microbes.
Naturally occurring microbes breakdown the organic matter into a nutrient source that contains many of the nutrients and trace elements essential for plant growth, including humic acids which aid in making nutrients available to the plants.
Improving Soil Health
Compost has the unique ability to improve the physical, chemical and biological properties of soil. Improving the soil structure, the aeration and drainage of heavy soils and also aids the water holding capacity and aggregation of sandy soils. Compost helps build the complexity of the soil eco-system.
A teaspoon of good compost can contain as many as 5 billion organisms and thousands of different species, all working to restore and build soil. Compost stimulates the entire soil foodweb and is tremendous tool to increase the carbon (humus) building capacity of any soil.
Environment & Sustainability
Most plant nutrients in compost are in an organic form and are released slowly as a result of microbial activity, and become available to the roots of the plants as needed, are less leachable, and can help avoid plant nutrient overloads that sponsor pest pressure.
Compost helps build the complexity of the soil eco-system, that in turn builds soils.
Compost is a natural, safe and environmentally friendly option to consider alongside your other mineral & fertiliser inputs.