If you donated your pumpkin to be displayed at the Pumpkin Walk at the Port of Newcastle, here’s how they look now.

We mixed the clean pumpkins (nitrogen) together with straw (carbon) into an existing compost pile (inoculation), the rough idea being to layer the ingredients together, in as tall of a pile possible, starting with a base of straw or wood chips.

The alternate layers even out the biology and heating, while the tall shape creates a lot of surface area for cooling and oxygen. Only six weeks later, you can see how much the pile has sunk and decomposed already.

We “turned” the pile with the tractor to help cool down the reaction and mix in some oxygen. At this point we want to get the outside of the pile to be the new inside, and the inside to be on the outside.

I will cover the outside with straw and hopefully the worms will have a nice warm place to hang out all winter.

Thanks to the Friends of the Port and Samuel Wilmot Nature Area and Leo Blindenbach for putting on a great event!