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Re: [nafex] composting


I am told that the fastest composters are turned daily.  That involves a large
drum container, set up on rollers, so it can be easily turned (rolled) daily.

The drum has a door on one end for loading and emptying, and the drum is
perforated with small holes for air and water movement.

Never built one, but they are supposed to convert debris to compost the fastest.

Often thought of using one of those 55 gallon plastic drums you see to make one,
as it would not rust out.

This technique is supposed to reduce composting to days, versus months.


Kieran or Donna wrote:

> Lucky,
>     I grew up in Florida, where organic matter evaporates nearly as fast as
> it is produced.  Even in Tennessee where it's pretty dang hot most of the
> year, I thought composting was some sort of Yankee plot, or perhaps more of
> that Puritan work ethic they have up there.  Or maybe they need the exercise
> just to keep warm.  Gianni, for instance, says "turn it every few days".
> That goes against inborn southern laziness.
>     But a small army of rabid composters finally convinced me that in the
> winter I could take advantage of the free heat produced (plus the air that
> is a lot more available in a pile than in the ground) to convert raw
> materials turn into superb soil much faster than simply throwing them on the
> ground. (Whether mulching or spreading before plowing)   It only took doing
> it once to convert me.  We haul the manure and I spread the other
> ingredients in layers as my husband shovels it off the truck.  Sometimes
> it's horse manure plus bedding and I just add lime and crumbled soil and
> rock dust.  Sometimes it's just sawdust or shavings and I add chicken manure
> as well, or we dump buckets of urine on the heap later (we don't have any
> plumbing to worry about in the cold weather).  Either way, it DOES get warm,
> and it turns into something to make chemical gardeners weep with envy, even
> though I turn each heap only once in it's career.  I throw the outside of
> the heap on the garden and mix the inside finished product half and half
> with garden soil for my own potting soil.  I use it for everything except
> starting small seeds.  My hickory and BW seedlings are all planted in it as
> are all the rest of my potted trees.  Now that the garden is producing more
> than we can eat, I think it's time to start making compost for my neglected
> fruit trees.    Donna

Thomas Olenio
Ontario, Canada
Hardiness Zone 6a

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