I started with about 10 sheets of newspaper layered in the bottom of the tub. In my case, they were less for weed suppression, and more for adding brown matter and providing food for the worms that will make their home in the tub.
Next came a generous dusting of fertilizer—I went with a combination of blood meal and bone meal, but chicken manure, rabbit manure, or any high-nitrogen organic fertilizer would work.
Then came the alfalfa. Alfalfa (also called lucerne hay) is the same stuff used as horse feed. On top of the alfalfa, I added a thick layer of straw (about 12 inches, or double my alfalfa layer).
Following the straw was another generous dusting of blood meal and bone meal, and another soak with the hose.
Finally, the topmost layer was a healthy addition of compost (about 3 to 6 inches). Whatever you use, it should be well rotted and teeming with microbes. This is the layer you’ll be seeding and planting in, so don’t skimp on the compost. Wet it down, and you’re ready to plant!