New at Groundswell this year in the demo field will be the compost turning demonstration. The aim of the process is to take a standard heap of farm yard manure and increase its worth by creating an environment in which beneficial biology, such as aerobic bacteria, fungi and protozoa can thrive. These micro-organisms then break down the organic matter in the manure creating a biologically active compost. When spread onto the field this not only acts as an organic manure, but also as a biological inoculant for the soil. Numerous components can be added to the mix, including wood chip or straw, with the aim of achieving a Carbon to Nitrogen ratio of approximately 25:1. Clay topsoil may also be added to provide additional nutrient binding sites. Ideally a temperature of between 50 and 70°C should be maintained by regular turning to provide the optimum environment for the beneficial microbes. The compost turner will be in action at 1pm on Wednesday and at 2pm on Thursday.