June 18, 2024

Compost John has been building composting systems at Green Gatherings since the early 90s, using branches, brash, cardboard, straw and food waste - the branches allowing air deep into the heap.

At every Green Gathering, John builds a layered heap using this brash and branch support system to ensure the food waste gets oxygen to it as it moulders away. This slowly collapses and becomes a wildlife haven over the autumn and winter, then in spring John comes by train from York with his pitchfork carefully stowed, and removes all the wood and separates all the compost into a maturation pile.

Last year Shane Collins (one of the directors of The Green Gathering) used previous years' compost to grow the biggest beans we have ever seen... Which inspired us this year to make three raised beds for climbing and dwarf beans, herbs and salads. These will be used in the crew kitchen in August.

The empty compost bays will be refilled and the cycle will continue, stopping tonnes of wet food waste being driven to an incinerator and growing quite a few kilos of healthy food at the same time.

If anyone is walking by Piercefield Park, Chepstow, do take a photo of the growing veggies and send it to

This might be one of the many reasons we're the greenest festival in the land!

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