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Home Composter News on November 15, 2012

  • Pen Pals, Glowing Parasites & Crop Camouflage Could Help Improve Lives Gates Foundation’s Grand Challenges Explorations grants invest in bold ideas to address global health and development challenges
  • November 1, 2012

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    Home Composter News on May 30, 2012

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    Home Composter News on April 30, 2012

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    Home Composter News on March 21, 2012

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    Make Your Own Kitchen Compost Container?

    Make your own kitchen compost container? Are you kidding me? I am laughing out loud just thinking about it. Okay, if you mean using an old Yogurt container and storing it in the fridge. But when it comes to keeping rotting food in my kitchen, I think I will leave container design to the professionals. Although I maintain that composting is not super difficult, I do rely on products that others have designed and manufactured. I’m proud to show off my worm bins when I have company, but I don’t want my guests to know that I’m a home composter from the smell of my kitchen.

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    Compost Pail


    Adding your food waste to a compost pail as a part of your daily routine makes home composting a snap. Once a week add dump the pail into your home composter and before you know it, you’ll have nutrient-rich compost. It’s a great way to reduce the amount of trash you add to the landfill and the amount of water that you flush down the kitchen sink when using the garbage disposer.

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    How To Make a Backyard Compost Tumbler

    If you are looking for plans for how to make your own backyard compost tumbler without spending a lot of money, check out this video that was posted on YouTube.com. It’s not as small as the Envirocycle Compost Tumbler, but not much larger than the pickle barrel that is used to make it and if you can get someone to paint something clever or attractive on the barrel, it would probably add an element of interest to your backyard.  If you find more than one pickle barrel, you can use the second one as a rain barrel! Often you can find barrels for around $10 from drum and barrel suppliers.

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    Bamboo Kitchen Compost Container

    Have you seen the Norpro bamboo kitchen compost container? I don’t see any reviews on it yet, but it looks gorgeous. It has two charcoal filters, is made of natural sustainable bamboo and hopefully it will measure up to other Norpro kitchen compost containers that we have seen. I could definitely live with one of these on my kitchen countertop.

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    Indoor Composter


    An indoor composter solves several common problems for many home composters. For one thing, winter is not conducive to composting. Cold temperatures and snow don’t do much for a hot composting heap and who wants to haul waste out into the cold anyway. An indoor composter also adds a convenience to composting that encourages less enthusiastic family members to participate. “If it’s easy, I’ll do it!” For apartment and urban composters, an indoor composter may be the only option, as many have little or no outdoor space. Fortunately, there are several options for indoor composting, including worm bins, Naturemill’s Automatic Composter and for those with basement space, one or two Envirocycle Compost Tumblers might work very well. The All Seasons Bokashi method does require finishing in the ground, so it’s not going to work for everyone, but some people love it.

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    Learning From My Worm Bins

    This week, I’ve been learning from my worm bins. Maybe I should say I’ve been learning from my worms through trial and error (nah, let’s call it trial and improvement). I added the second worm bin to my Worm Factory 360 about five days ago with the intention of layering the “ingredients” in the tray a little differently than I did in the first tray. Each time I added food to my original tray, I was lifting up the shredded paper and placing the food below it. I added damp shredded paper on top when I added food, but seldom did I see worms crawling around in the three inches of shredded paper. Worm castings were building up and both food and paper wasted seemed to disappear, but I am so far happier with my layering system on my new tray. I started it with food waste in the bottom to attract worms to climb up from below. Then I added dry leaves and then about an inch or less of damp shredded paper. Now each time I add food waste, I add dry leaves if they are available and shredded paper. (Tip: I actually add dry shredded paper and then use the mist setting on my hose nozzle to dampen it.) The result is that many worms have climbed up and seem to be thriving in the new tray. I open the lid and see worms squirming around in the shredded paper and in the food waste below. I feel like I will be able to add food more often this way and have a better grip on how much the worms are eating.

    It is strange, now that I have a second tray, to not be able to look below at the first tray and see how things are going. I could lift up the second tray, but am afraid I might squish a worm when I put it back down, so I’ll try to refrain!

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