More Ecology Action workshop photos from the composting class.
Start with about 4 ft. x 4 ft. of soil that has been loosened a bit, down to 12 inches if possible. They also recommend a layer of thicker sticks/branches on the bottom of the pile to help with drainage and air circulation.
A layer of dried, mature (i.e., carbon-rich) material.
Each layer gets watered after it's put down.
A layer of green, immature material.
And, a layer of soil. Repeat until the pile is about 3 or 4 ft. high, stick a compost thermometer in it, keep it moist but not soggy, and turn it in a few weeks. Then it sits around until it's ready for use. It's a slower, colder method, as opposed to the black plastic compost tumblers that heat everything up quickly and make compost in a month or so, but this way keeps the beneficial soil microbes that thrive at lower temperatures happy and healthy.