The Compost Conversation

Joel Meadows explains the ingredients to make great compost.

Do you feel the itch to learn how and why to make great compost, or solve your compost problems, or put compost theory into action? We begin Compost Conversations 2024 by offering a Continuous Hot Compost workshop with our very own Joel Meadows and Mikaela Beckley. Interested?

Mikaela offers knowledge of microbial life and the soil/food web. Joel offers a vast history of teaching permaculture, and of course composting. Both grow their own food and have a commitment to continued learning and exploration through their work with YIMBY (Yes in My Back Yard).

The workshop will be valuable for experienced and new compost enthusiasts. We will discuss many of the topics covered in this column such as; what and how to add to your compost, the difference between okay compost and great compost, the secret life of microbes, and why compost matters in the first place!

The YIMBY method is pretty ace, we reckon, and we are keen to share it with more people. We also have a wicked plan, to double the numbers of YIMBY community composters by the end of the year.

While our existing YIMBY composters have been diligently collecting food scraps in their neighbourhoods and nurturing kazillions of microbes to make great compost over the summer, plans have been hatched to recruit a new batch of composters. In doing so, we will double the reach of our collections and quantity of compost made!

Attending training is the vital first step to becoming a YIMBY composter. However, don’t be put off, not everyone who attends the workshop will join our team, but you will leave with the knowledge required to make great compost. 

*It would be remiss to assume that everyone knows what YIMBY is! So here’s the basics. YIMBY is a community composting initiative that currently supports 17 composters to collect food scraps on a weekly basis from their neighbours and turn it into high quality compost, in their own compost piles. We currently have over 240 weekly contributors and to date have collected almost 10,000 buckets, or 31,000, kilograms of food scraps. We have collectively made around 21,000 kgs of high quality compost.

To book for training on Saturday February 17, from 9.30-12.30 in Castlemaine, go to

Next week we dive into some more juicy compost topics.

– Lucy Young works with Yes In My Back Yard, (YIMBY), a community-scale composting initiative in Castlemaine and surrounds. Send questions or comments to