Grow your own

Bill O'Sullivan
Bill O'Sullivan

When people visit Tullamore Farm and try our produce, the comments generally reflect the difference in taste of home grown and supermarket produce. 

Attendees at Workshops and Farm Tours always question what we do differently, looking for something magical and unique. There isn’t.  

We do put effort into our home made compost though. One of the first things we constructed here were three solid compost bins which has since been increased to six. Depending on space you can produce your own compost in so many ways.  

My dad, over 60 years ago, was a massive composter and from a very young age I saw the benefits of what he did and the simplicity of how he made it.  

His compost was made primarily from mower clippings, vegetable scraps, goat manure and some compost from his oldest pile.  

He always had seven to ten compost piles brewing at various stages and places around the yard.  

He would simply build a pile on the ground and cover with soil and add water from time to time.  

About three months later, he had good compost. 

We operate the following way:  The oldest pile of compost is being used for fertilising or topping up vegetable beds.  The other bays are at various stages of breaking down and becoming compost.  

We use the following to build our compost:  kitchen vegetable scraps, egg shells, chook manure, horse manure, fresh clippings, weeds, ash and sawdust, vines that pop up.  

We grow a lot of bananas here and fortnightly we remove excess leaves, suckers and harvested stems with the majority going into the compost bays. Lots of variety. 

To help get the breakdown process happening more quickly,  as we are adding into the bay, we will put a thin layer of the oldest, mature compost.  

We will add water as the pile starts to get larger. Three or four months later we have a very efficient home-made fertiliser. 

You can make your own as simply as my dad did, you can build bays like we do or you can have a number of tumblers.  All will work. The key is to start and look to increasing the production over time. 

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