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lazy me, got me a compost tumbler  RSS feed

 
pollinator
Posts: 4437
Location: North Central Michigan
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well my compost pile is like about 300 feet from our house..with a foot of snow on the ground between here and there...yes still.

so i got me a compost tumbler to put on the deck by the house so i don't have to walk so far to put in the compost..yes i'll still keep my BIG compost pile..but..the tumbler will be for kitchen scraps, some shredded paper..and i also threw in some crappy houseplants that weren't doing well..and their dirt..and some potting soil

figure i can keep this one going here as well as my big one out back..and save me the trouble of walking so far..also in the winter i'll have someplace to throw scraps too..

it isn't very big..(sears JR)...but i like it and it will do what i need for it to do..and sure is saving me a lot of hassel at mealtime.
 
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What i can say.. have fun with it!
 
steward
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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I once had one of these.  The biggest.  After all, the smaller ones .... well ... do they get hot enough?  Do you have a compost thermometer?  Maybe you can measure how hot it gets and tell us. 

Do you have a pic?
 
Brenda Groth
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yeah i'm thinking in the winter it probably won't get very hot either..unless i put it in my furnace building..which it could go in easily and i could get to easily in there (always at least 50 in there)..but right now it is on the deck.

it is the jr from sears..
http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_07139001000P?vName=Lawn+&psid=FROOGLE01&sName=Edging+&cName=OutdoorTools&sid=IDx20070921x00003a

this is the only one i could afford..not sure if it will really work well or not..but even if it just holds the stuff till i can move it to the big compost pile over the winter or part winter..then it will be a help..

so far i have  not got much into it..so it really isn't "working" hard yet..but i'm sure i'll get it going better soon as now i can get things from outside in it..i put some deer berries in it this week along with some expired houseplants, some shredded paper and cardboard and also some potting soil i had..i've been putting the household garbage in it, rinds, coffee grounds, eggshells, peels, etc..and turning it a few times every day..it is easy to get to..i think it is a bit dry so i'll be adding some more fluids to it also..and some wet leaves and garden debris as i rake it up..but most of that stuff goes into my large outdoor pile in the back yard..where i already have a lot of compost ready to use this spring..

it will be an experiment, but if it doesn't work well, it can always be emptied every few weeks into the big pile out back..we'll see what happens
 
paul wheaton
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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FWIW:  I think a lazier way to go is to have no tumbler.  Just throw everything in a pile and forget about it.

 
Brenda Groth
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yeah and that is generally what I do but trudging 300 feet through our winter average of 141" of snow to get to it daily is just not what I would consider lazy..walking out to the deck to the tumbler.. now that is lazy..giving it a quick turn or two..walla..done (without any real exercise)
 
gardener
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Location: Central IL
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Yeah, I'd agree that the trudge that far isn't fun in the winter sometimes (I have a similarly distant pile).  I don't think I have near as much going out as it sounds like you do, but my daily (maybe every 2 or 3 day) goal is to get it out of the kitchen.  I plop what I have just outside my back screen door in 5 gal buckets that hold it until I can walk them back to the pile.

To handle the volume it sounds like you're talkin', or to make my trips less frequent, I wish I was a bit of a welder:  Take a 55 gal drum and turn it into something that resembles a tow roller, but filled with compost pile-bound waste!    Unloading probably wouldn't be fun though.

I do have one of those compost spreader rollers, but I don't think it would be big enough, and would probably leave a trail of goo as I rolled it over to my pile    But I guess if the dogs didn't attack the trail, it would benefit the ground anyway!  Again, unloading wouldn't be fun.

I guess if I could design it so the drum lid came off easily enough, that would solve my unloading problem...

At any rate, at least you're still collecting and not killing yourself with the walk!
 
Brenda Groth
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well i've been working on putting things into the compost tumber for around 6 days now..and it is beginning to rot now and is looking more like compost than like the materials i started out with..so that is a good thing.

so the update is..it appears that it is working well for me

this compost tumber has a frame that it rolls on..and handles that you pull to roll it with ..it has a door to open to put stuff into and then it also empties through the same door..i figured i'd throw a tarp down and open the door and roll it over and scoop out the compost with a hoe or a tiny rake i have out onto the tarp..then anything that isn't finished can bet tossed back in with new materials ..will let you know how that works out..but it seems like it will work ok

my big compost pile is being unfenced as of today part of the fence came down..it will be pulled out and sorted and spread in the next week or two..and the unfinished stuff will be thrown into a new pile as well..
 
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Location: Portland Maine
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I am lazier still. I broke down and bought a Nature's Mill composter (second hand) I mounted it on drawer slides under my kitchen sink. It has a fan, air filter, heater and a heavy duty rotating blade. It draws very little power and composts virtually all kitchen scraps.
 
Brenda Groth
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wow Karl, you have got me beat there.

i'm pretty happy with my tumbler so far..i go out every day to add to it..and turn it..and i always peek inside to see what is happening, of course..looking pretty good so far
 
paul wheaton
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Well, mine worked as advertised.  I turned it every day and the compost got really hot.  And what came out seemed excellent.  And then I would empty it and start a new batch. 

I remember I had one in community once and newbies kept wanting to open it and add to it when it was half done.  I had to teach them about how it works and that new stuff only goes in when the old stuff is all done. 

I still think that it would be much better if it was much bigger.  But I suspect if it was much bigger it would be hard for folks to deal with.
 
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