Emmanuel Taillard - france

Emmanuel tested the compost windrows on a small scale in Le Havre, France.  The garden is a 1000 square metre city garden producing lots of green waste and garden cuttings.

Emmanuel built a cubic metre windrow using garden greens, grass, horse poo with hay from a local farmer and 10% garden soil. The resulting compost was used as a mulch on the garden.

There were several useful pieces of learning from this trial:

Emmanuel had no Toptex covers on his pile but would definitely use these in future to give better protection from the weather.

In future he would consider sharing waste with his neighbours eg his neighbours have lawn clippings which he does not – a collaborative compost pile would work well.

He would not advise small gardeners to use too much kitchen waste as it is wet and sticky. It would be better to ferment it in a bin with bokoshi before adding it to the windrow.

The use of a shredder to cut up large branches into smaller more usable pieces of material which would be quicker to compost would be a useful investment for his small garden.

And finally Emmanuel found it difficult to find good clay. In the future he would consider buying it from the local pottery or if he finds some in his garden, digging it up and keeping it for when he builds his compost windrows.


Emmanuel has also helped build windrows at Craigmore in New Zealand as well as at Wardington Manor in Oxfordshire for The Land Gardeners. Having spent a year with us in Oxfordshire he is now going to the Pays de Loire in France where he will set up further trials.