As you could have read in my first story in which I introduced myself, my internship is all about compost, growing medicinal plants and this all happens within the research institute Ecosur and in some schools in Campeche. Now it is Thursday, which means I am in Ecosur for almost two weeks and that makes me able to tell you more about the project. My project will be very roughly two months of making compost, two months of growing plants and if the experiments go well at the end two more weeks for travelling and visiting other projects. The last two things are only just far away, so now I am going to tell you everything about my compost.
Composting can take quite long (here in the tropics the minimum time is one month), so it was necessary to start quickly and I did do that. On my first day I had a relaxing introduction day, but on Tuesday and Wednesday I had to start with reading a lot about compost, in order to start with the compost on Thursday. And indeed on Thursday I read enough to start collecting materials for the compost. The ‘ingredients’ of compost are very important, hence I had to select them carefully. In the morning I collected the weeds of the garden with a machete, during lunchtime I went to a range to collect horse manure and in the afternoon I weighed all the materials for calculations afterwards. It was an intense day of working in the sun (I drank 5 litres of water during work), but on Friday only the ingredients had to be put in heaps. That turned out to be a little bit different than planned (of course), but on Friday afternoon I was a happy man who finished four compost heaps with different ingredients (with the help of others).
When I came back on Monday I was a little bit disappointed when I measured the temperature for the first time. The temperature was on average 28oC, whereas it should be at least 40 oC. The composting process had not really started then. Luckily the temperature finally started to rise yesterday, but today it dropped again because it was turned yesterday. However I will keep hope and hope to tell you next time the temperature of the heap is somewhere around 60 oC.