Compost is decomposed organic matter, managed to:

  • grow beneficial microbes
  • concentrate nutrients
  • build humus

The benefits of compost as a soil amendment include:

  • improved soil structure
  • increased water holding capacity
  • improved soil aeration
  • slow-release fertility
  • stimulation of plant growth.

Compost can be made in open windrows or enclosed bins; both approaches can be found on the Cannon Hort Plots.

Composting, and field applications of compost, are regular parts of the fertility program on the Cannon Hort Plots. Both are commonly covered during beginning farmer and resilient farmer trainings.

Related Publications and Videos

Vermicomposting at Kerr Center I

Composting with earthworms– the basics. Consultant Luke Freeman explains how vermicomposting works and details of the Kerr Center project. The center’s Canon Organic Horticulture Project uses vermicompost in its soil building program. Also featuring Kerr Center intern Jon Pollnow.

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Vermicomposting II- Bins & Management

Discussion of vermicompost bins: commercial black plastic, cinderblock sides and straw/hay bale sides. Pros and cons of each, Kerr Center experience, and discussion of how to manage the worms.

Read more

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