21 March 2011
This is a twice-yearly job, September and March. I was a bit more scientific about it this time, making sure that each barrowful got a good soaking of water before adding the next one. It's much more difficult to get the pile properly wet if you add the water at the end (as I found in September).
By this morning (two days later), the temperature inside the heap was reading 54°C/129°F, which is in just about the right range for killing pathogens. The outside temperature was just 3°C/37°F when I took this reading. Yes, that is a cooking thermometer. And no, I don't use it in the kitchen any more. ;-)
The heap will be a bit stinky for a while, as it cooks and then cures. But it's nowhere near the house and I'll miss the worst of it, as I'll be away. I'm no fool...