August 5, 2009
This composter makes turning the compost easy. The Tumbleweed holds close to 60 gallons of material and makes compost quickly, in less than a month. It is sturdily built and gets rave reviews from those that have tried it. This composting system keeps all the garbage in a tight container and lets you rotate it until the compost is done. Great idea and I want one!
At Tumbleweed Composter
Marilyn Renaker at Permalink
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July 9, 2009
The YardBuddy Lawn & Leaf Bag is a multi-wall paper bag designed to hold lawn and yard waste. It's ideal for grass clippings, leaves, twigs and trimmings. It holds together nicely when wet but are still compostable. You can leave it filled for the garbage truck or take it to the compost pile. A great improvement over the easily punctured and landfill nightmare that plastic bags have become.
At Wildwood YardBuddy Biodegradable/Compostable Lawn & Leaf Bags - 10-Pack #16000
Marilyn Renaker at Permalink
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June 8, 2009
If you have a compost pile or want to start one, this is a good beginning. It takes garden and kitchen waste and stores them, keeping them odor free with a carbon filter, until you are ready to take the filled bucket outside to the compost pile. It is light and easy to carry when full and easily washable. You can also use Biobags which make it simple to empty and clean. No odors!
At Gaiam Kitchen Compost Bucket - Large - Green (9.6 Quart)
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October 18, 2008
Now that you've read, Let It Rot, and you are thoroughly hooked on composting, you'll want your own thermometer to measure the temperature in your compost pile. The Luster Leaf Compost Thermometer is made of stainless steel and is 19" long. Knowing the temperature of the compost can help you decide when to water, when to add more material and when to aerate or turn the pile.
This thermometer can also be used in the spring to test soil temperature before you plant seeds and for checking hay bales (if they are warm, they have too much moisture and could eventually self-combust).
October 17, 2008
To keep the kitchen waste from sneaking into the waste basket and going to a landfill, one needs a well thought out plan that is easy to execute (and that doesn't smell!). It seems like no one has any time to do anything extra anymore, but if you set yourself up right, this process won't add much to your burdens and you'll feel great about recycling your kitchen scraps and making your own compost. Remember, the three most important components to composting on a daily basis are A) make it easy, B) make sure it doesn't smell, and C) make it beautiful (it can't be an eye sore in the kitchen or you know it will get tossed in a few months).
We've reviewed a bunch of containers from stainless to plastic to ceramic and have decided on this this good looking ceramic crock (Amazon $23.95). The ceramic one looks the best, won't leak, and can be sanitized in the dishwasher. The down side is that it is heavier but we have a solution for that . . .
The stainless ones were too expensive and sometimes the cover didn't fit very well. Also, there are those pesky seams that could open up sometime in the future. You might want to buy a stainless composter anyway if your kitchen has stainless appliances. (remember, make it beautiful!)
The plastic one we found was green and it just looked too junky and cheap to keep in the kitchen (even the GardenSnob kitchen with hay on the floor, honey supers stacked in a corner, a prociutto hanging in one window, and a bucket of wheat waiting to be flailed). Plus, we don't trust plastic tabs or "living hinges" to last more than a few weeks, especially with daily use. Then you have a plastic item to throw away and part of this practice is to reduce trash so we won't even include a link to it.
Now that you've put your ceramic crock on the counter or even tucked it in a corner on the floor somewhere, the subject of taking the compost out to the pile comes up. This is the weak link, the part that has to be easy, because if it isn't, the habit of taking the compost out will surely die the day after the first snowfall. And so, behold the BioBag!
These biodegradable, recyclable bags will fit nicely into your ceramic crock and when it comes time to empty it, just take out the bag and drop it into the compost bin. The bags are a 3 gallon size so there is plenty of extra material with which to tie a knot and hand it off to the nearest youngster (before dessert, of course).
This picture doesn't lie - it's easy! If you could see his face, you would see a giant smile on it. We recommend taking the bag out every 3 - 5 days, depending on what you've put in it, because the bag will start to decompose (the next weakest link). In my experience with humans and their nature, that mess would only be cleaned up once and by throwing everything out once and for all - crock, bags and scraps. Talk about defeating the whole purpose! These bags are $8.33 for 3 packs (total of 75 bags for a savings of 37 cents per pack over buying them singly).
If you are ambitious or a horder like me, buy 12 packs at the wholesale price of $37.01 (300 bags). It's not a great savings - only 30 cents per box - but you won't have to worry about compost bags for four years and who knows how much shipping will be in 2012.
As for those charcoal filters that come with all these kitchen composters, use them if they come free with it until they wear out. Then, forget about them and put the saved money under your mattress. Using the biodegradable bags keeps the odors contained if you twirl the ends together before you put the cover on and renders the charcoal filters unnecessary.
October 16, 2008
This is the 3rd edition of the classic book on composting, Let It Rot and probably on Storey Publishing's best seller list. Entertaining to read and humorous, this book by Stu Campbell will instruct you on many ways to make compost and how to tailor it specifically for the needs of your garden. It is technical enough for the seasoned composter but within reach of the beginner and has lots of ideas and "recipes" to keep you busy all year long. Who knows - we may find you canvassing the neighborhood with a wheelbarrow in search of others' throwaways. Available from Amazon for $10.36.
October 14, 2008
The Ringer All Purpose Compost Plus Activator (at Amazon for $8.78) is a great addition to your compost pile if you've added things such as sawdust, wood chips, pine needles and twigs. It will jump start your pile by adding beneficial organisms that already exist in there but in smaller numbers. It would take some time for them to multiply and start working so this is a way to speed up the process. Think of it as a compost organism "troop surge". You may need to lightly water your compost pile from time to time. Moist is good - soaking wet is not. If it is going to downpour, you may want to toss a tarp over it so it doesn't get too wet.
It's fall cleanup time and time to put it all somewhere. No, don't blow it into the street! Not onto the neighbor's lawn, either. Keep it yourself and turn it into great compost for next year's garden.
This Bin composter is the easiest to set up, move, mix, and see what's going on and how much room you have. It's made with PVC coated steel wire panels and comes with easy slip-in rods for the corners. At $38.99, it seems a little expensive for what it is, but, then again, there is something to be said for clicking a button and having it show up at your house. Also, you don't have to waste half your Saturday at some store wondering which composter will fit into the hatch of your car or figuring out how to build your own with rolls of wire. This one is a great height - 30" - and when the leaves, grass, etc., is finished composting, you just pick up or take apart the panels and move it to another location. Or shovel the compost out of the bin and leave it where it is. Your garden will love you next year!
August 22, 2008
Think you don't have enough room to farm? Think again. This worm farm measures 16" x 16" x 28". Hey, isn't that smaller than the average TV nowadays? Set it up right next to your trash can and compost pail in the kitchen. Or if you have one of those new, fancy kitchens and the trash can is a drawer in the cabinets, put the worm farm in the garage or basement or downstairs bathroom. Better yet, keep a small version under your desk at work. I'm not joking - people do this! This worm farm comes with coconut husk bedding to get you started. Find it at Amazon for $79.95.
And don't forget the worms! You can buy a pound of them from Amazon, too, for $39.95. 1,000 to 1,200 worms per pound. This certainly must be one of the stranger items for sale there.
Let's find some real pictures of those worms to keep the week's theme alive. Here's one from www.redwormcomposting.com, which has everything you need to know about composting with worms.
And here's another one from www.ourvitalearth.com, an online store with worm composting equipment.
Okay, that's enough. I've got the now familiar feeling in my stomach. Yuck.
June 12, 2008
We love to make our own dirt using a composter. You can really mix in just about anything food related and start making your own dirt - even coffee grounds. We think this composter simplifies composting using a rolling and mixing action that keeps the ingredients mixed and aerated. It can collect up to five gallons of fertilizer.
At Envirocycle Composter