Composting is specially managed. Large quantities of compost are needed when the number of rotations reaches 8 or 9 crops in the year, which is the case in our greenhouses. We must therefore ensure sufficient availability of composting material, ideally produced on the farm.
Composting can be done in different ways. As mentioned in section 13, we prefer on-bed composting (straw, mulch) to compost heaps [or bins]. On-bed composting seems much more attractive because it causes less nutrient loss and fulfils several functions [Ed: these functions are listed in section 16 on mulches.]
As we have seen, the small cultivated area can free up space to combine a little animal husbandry with the crops (meadow orchard and fruit hedges for sheep grazing, draught animals, a farmyard, etc.), so as to optimise the microfarm’s self-sufficiency in compostable organic matter.