The amount of water we add is critical to the mix in allowing even and rapid heating of the compost heap.
The addition of twigs and small branches similarly is critical as it allows the penetration of air (oxygen). This in turn promotes aerobic breakdown and allows the heap to heat up to 60 degrees Celsius for extended periods of time (approximately six weeks).
This kills off pathogenic bacteria and fungi and sterilises the heap, transforming its state into a concentrated substrate of highly available worm food.
The compost will need to be turned at several times over the 12-month period that it takes to make.
Each time the compost is turned, it will heat up and shrink but in diminishing amounts so that the first time it will heat up the most and then in successive turns, it will heat up and shrink less.
The compost heap will lose two thirds of its bulk during the entire process.