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Kombucha compostables

 
pollinator
Posts: 220
Location: KY - Zone 6b (near border of 6a), Heat Zone 7, Urban habitat
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I got an email today from a local kombucha maker. They think they can give me about 5 gallons of compostables per week. The note mentioned:

tea leaves
Lavendar petals
Hibiscus flower
Spent hops
Powdered orange peel
Scoby trimmings

However, she noted that anything that sat in the kombucha would have a pH of 2.8-3.5.

So, is there a way to mediate that low pH?
Any red flags in the ingredients, powdered orange peel?
 
pollinator
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Location: Asheville NC
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I'm definitely interested in your findings. I just got 118 five gallon buckets full!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NEJpETeaWLo&t=6s
 
echo minarosa
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Funny thing is I just watched that video a few hours ago.  Coveted the amount as well as all those buckets!!! ;)
 
echo minarosa
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So, the worms don't seem to care for the citrus, nor the high-oil hops. Not sure they care for the lavender.

I now get the SCOBY, lavender/citrus, and hops separated. I've been using the hops in thin layers to discourage raccoons, opossums, and squirrels from digging up seedlings in beds and so far it seems to work.

The citrus/lavender is spread on top of beds for similar reasons. The SCOBY gets buried in either a row or compost. The worms seem to love the latter.

BTW, I tried leaving layers of SCOBY in between tomatoes and they dried to a thin leather. I think the application is sound only if you cover it with compost or leaf mould in order for the SCOBY to stay moist and decompose.

Anyone else have any kombucha composting notes?

 
pollinator
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Location: WNC 6b
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We add our trimmings to the compost pile. Not nearly 118 buckets?! WOW

Worms aren't going to like anything too styrong. The oils and aromas from citrus and lavendar might be too strong at first. These two things will take longer to break down in the soil too.

With that sort of pH, adding mulch or mixing the compostables with clay/sand soil should raise that pH.

We don't have your volume. Composting the stuff a few days/weeks may help it be more attractive to the garden. Maybe try burying the stuff?

You are going to have amazing soil.
 
echo minarosa
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So basically I get about 15-20 gallons of organic compostables a week, though sometimes it's more like 10-12. They are typically separated as follows:

4-5 gallons of SCOBY

2-4 gallons of organic spent high oil hops

9-12 gallons of organic spent lavender flowers, organic black tea, organic hibiscus flowers, sometimes organic citrus powder or quartered organic lemons/limes

There may be times when that last part is provided more separately.

Worms hate the lavender, hops, and citrus...the jury is out on hibiscus. So, I add them to only a couple of places for composting.

SCOBY is like worm crack. I've tried adding it to bed soil as a mulch on top and burying everywhere. Don't top dress with it. It turns into very thin sheets of hard almost plastic. When that happens, nothing eats it. So, cover SCOBY with compost or soil if you're going to use it in the garden or compost bins.

I've been experimenting with the spent high oil hops powder. It has an odor. As it ages, that odor is a cross between a wet musky mammal and funk. When I had issues with squirrels in beds/containers and opossums and raccoons, I noticed they seemed to be avoiding the hops. So, I experimented. For a while, even just the hops in open buckets stretched across doorways was enough to keep everything out. Recently, the raccoons thought the allure of feebly contained birdseed containers were worth crossing the hops. However, the opossums seem to leave the hops alone as do the squirrels. The real test for squirrels will be late winter/early spring when the few crocus I have left will have hops applied to see if they will be protected.


I'd still like to know more about using hops for compost. Would also love to know more from anyone composing citrus, lavender flowers, etc.

I'm still searching for more coffee and eggshell input (as well as other compostable material sources). Starbucks is still no help here. The local coffee shops all have regular recipients and most of the Starbucks here do not save grounds. Of the Starbucks near me who do save grounds, they made a deal with the local University for pickup so I was edged out of all but two. Those two had turnover and after months of providing my own tubs, they were just not walking the 10-12 feet and dumping into them. They were empty for 3-4 months so I just removed them after repeated attempts to discuss what I could do to get the grounds. Ah well, it was good while it lasted. I used to get about 15 gallons of spent coffee (with a little tea) every two days.






 
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