let's compost together
The Latin name for man, homo, derived from humus the stuff of life in the soil.
Dr Daniel Hillel
The length of time required for decomposition is extremely variable from compost to compost.
It depends on many factors including : particles size, frequency of turning, moisture content, ambient air temperatures... After about 15-20 days, the temperature will come down; Gradually the material in the pile will turn dark brown, have a rich humus look and feel and smell “earthy”, like a forest floor. Assuming that, it’s still moist, and did not lose its temperature because it dried out, the compost will be ready to use.
All the contents of the pile will not be equally decomposed. There will always be a discernible leaf or stalk. Some materials contain lignins and other hard to break down substances, but this will not matter, as they will continue to be decomposed out in the garden.