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Disillusioned but not disheartened !

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  • Disillusioned but not disheartened !

    Hi all,
    As the weather stayed dry today, I decided, that after a long winter, it was time to empty the hotbin. If I recall correctly, it's been about 4 months since it was emptied.
    I've been hotbinning since lockdown, so I feel I know the do's and dont's , and I know it seems strange, but I still get a sense of excitement on "opening day " just to see if the fruit of my labors has been worth all of the effort I put in. Cutting, pruning ,collecting bulking agent from woods, storing countless bags of shredded paper, separating compostables, from non- compostables. The tasks go on and on .
    So thinking that after 4 months I would be greeted with a good dark batch of compost, I was sadly let down on removing the front cover. The bottom 20 cm was what you would call acceptable for mulching / digging into soil , which to be honest is the only type of compost I've ever harvested. The next 30cm layer was what I would describe as part composted , with obvious signs of material that hadn't broken down completely , and which, in the past I have placed in my cold composter to be finished off.
    Then of course , there is the top layer, which I put back in after emptying, and placing a starter batch of fresh grass / weeds / comfry etc.
    This on top of the inevitable collapse of the top layer after diligently trying to coax out usable compost, before the whole lot comes crashing down, contaminating the whole batch !
    Now I love hotbinning. To not have any food waste(or not as much as before) , and to get that satisfying blast of steam in the face upon opening the lid is all part of the process. It's time consuming I agree, and there have been time when I've thought of packing it all up, but, and its a big but. I'm determined I will get to a point where I know what I've done wrong and correct it the next time. I've had mixed results, this springs being the worse, but I believe that leaving it in the hotbin for 4 months was maybe too long, and I think I'm not putting enough dry material in the mix, The amount of lechate I've had out of the bin over the winter is amazing, but probably a sign that things weren't quite right.
    So we start again today, onwards and upwards.