SQWIB
Greener Thumb
Posts: 932
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2016 2:21 pm
Location: Zone 7A - Philadelphia, PA

My Compost Bin

I just got back into composting a few years back and since I compost nearly everything I can get my hands on, I concluded my compost bin was too small, so I beefed it up a bit, now I can easily get a season out of this without overflowing.

I don't monitor, stir, water or proportion the materials, everything is just dumped in as I come across it.

Everything goes in here, cardboard, paper, kitchen waste, coffee grounds, expired breads, cereals, flours and the like, yard waste, trub, bad beer, yeast, hair clippings, vacuum cleaner collection, rabbit manure and bedding, chinchilla manure and bedding, urea, ash, Bio-Char, pond waste, spent soil from pots, etc...

From time to time, meat, bones, cheese and the like makes its way to the compost bin.

Some cardboard that does not get recycled goes into the fire pit for fire starting, this includes cardboards that have a glossy surface or a glossy type paint on the box.

I don't compost my tomato plants, weeds or sunflowers, these go into the firepit with bones and dog poo that is in the yard at the time.
This is either left to burn to ash or choked out prior to becoming ash make bio-char. Weeds I sometimes but very rarely put in a 5 gallon bucket and let it sit out, the weeds dry up, the bucket fills up with rain water then I'll dump this in the compost bin.

Most of the time the rabbit and chinchilla waste goes directly in the raised beds with some bio-char and urea.

My composter usually works pretty slow but when I added a few gallons of trub, the thing literally talk off, I could feel the heat come off of it when I stood next to it and the level dropped 12 inches in a few days, I couldn't believe it.
I think it must have been active yeast in the trub.

I reduced my trash by at least one bag per week and my recycle bin has a lot less cardboard at the curbside.

Compost Bin Upgrade.

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Re: My Compost Bin

Looks great! The video didn't enlarge, but it looks like you have a thriving colony of black soldier fly larvae in there helping break everything down.

Do the sticks eventually break down or do you just pull them out later? You have natural fiber carpets? I tried emptying my vacuum cleaner into the compost pile once. We had red carpeting made of some kind of synthetic fiber. I found those red fibers floating around my yard for years after that (and I only ever did it one time).

I guess you are a beer brewer? I had to look up what "trub" is. :)
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

SQWIB
Greener Thumb
Posts: 932
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2016 2:21 pm
Location: Zone 7A - Philadelphia, PA

Re: My Compost Bin

Video was replaced by this one but cant edit Original Post Sorry.


SQWIB
Greener Thumb
Posts: 932
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2016 2:21 pm
Location: Zone 7A - Philadelphia, PA

Re: My Compost Bin

rainbowgardener wrote:Looks great! The video didn't enlarge, but it looks like you have a thriving colony of black soldier fly larvae in there helping break everything down.

Do the sticks eventually break down or do you just pull them out later? You have natural fiber carpets? I tried emptying my vacuum cleaner into the compost pile once. We had red carpeting made of some kind of synthetic fiber. I found those red fibers floating around my yard for years after that (and I only ever did it one time).

I guess you are a beer brewer? I had to look up what "trub" is. :)

It must be this site, it opens up to full screen on youtube and my website.
Start playing the video then Click on "Youtube" next to the full screen icon and it will take you to the video on youtube then you can increase size.

The "sticks" are put in if they are green the stems are eggplant plant stems, pepper stems, basil stems, (basil stems can get woody) I cut the plants at the base, leave the roots in the soil and if it's all green, I'll fold it up and toss in the compost bin. Whats brown (woody) goes into the fire pit.

Carpet is a polyester or other synthetic material, No problem with carpet fibers at all, it's mostly dog hair (Shepherd) get a ball of hair every other day.

thanrose
Greener Thumb
Posts: 720
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2009 2:01 pm
Location: Jacksonville, FLZone 9A

Re: My Compost Bin

That's my preferred style of composting. My grandpop was born in the 1890's. They had a burn pit way in the back of the acreage where just about everything the junk man wouldn't want was tossed in. Furniture, broken buckets, old dolls, bottles, tree limbs and what ever else. Adjacent to it was the mound of plant materials and occasional paper waste, food waste, shells from seafood, bedding from chickens. The sunflowers were always biggest on the downslope from the compost. My mother said the burn pit was only occasionally lit, and then my grandpop would be sooty every weekend as he raked the ashes out from the still solid stuff to add to either compost or straight to gardens. While he did grow vegetables, probably over 90% of his farmed land was devoted to Christmas trees, predominantly blue spruce. He'd donate the proceeds to his community church. It's possible there were tires and motor oil and insecticides, early plastics, insulation with asbestos and other things that would freak people out. My grandmom believed in orderliness and cleanliness and then probably God. I may be looking through rose colored glasses, but I'd imagine there was significant separation between the waste stuff and most of the food crops and living stuff. I know the fruit trees and honey bee hives were in around the house, then the well, then the clotheslines and then enough area for garden sheds and kids to play. I was never even near the burn pit, though I remember the sunflowers.The property was sold when I was an adult, to a trucking firm associated with a railroad freight siding. A brother may drive through that area once or twice a year, and the trucking firm still has the entire area in industrial use. He can glimpse some old blue spruce from an overpass.

Mmmm. started off to say that my Grandpop started me on making passive compost piles as a kid. I mean truly passive. No one aerated them if my gramps wasn't visiting, no one added more than food waste or fallen leaves.

I've found synthetic or plastic scraps in the piles when I've shared them with others. Once my father threw out a spool of fishing line. Still intact years after he died. Unfortunately so are the fish hooks. If the unbroken down garbage is as big as a bottle cap, I stuff it in a pocket to dispose of later.

And I've also tossed disappointing home brew, kombucha and vinegar mothers, dregs from home made wine, unused whey, and fabric scraps from linen or cotton into my pile. I've been tempted to scoop up seaweed or pond weed accumulations when I see them, but would be concerned with the salinity. Pond weed I'd be thinking "why is there so much all of a sudden?"

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Re: My Compost Bin

When I lived where we had a big natural pond, I would scoop watermeal/ duckweed out with a net and put it in my compost pile. It must be very high in N-- my normally barely warm compost pile would suddenly get hot!
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

User avatar
MockY
Full Member
Posts: 35
Joined: Wed May 06, 2015 9:30 pm
Location: Sacramento, Zone 9b

Re: My Compost Bin

Ohh man, my chickens would have a party in that bin. Those Black Soldier Fly larvae would not last long and I'd get lovely eggs. This video reignited my need for a BSF bin as they no longer populate my compost bin as the ladies are in it scratching all day.

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Re: My Compost Bin

I was just looking at a "bio-pod" BSF composter. I don't really need it for breaking stuff down, since I keep two compost piles and a leaf pile. But it would generate a high quality/ high protein chicken food, in the form of BSF larvae. My hens keep those pretty well cleaned out of the compost pile also. They love that kind of stuff -- lately we've been buying some dried meal worms for treats and when I find Japanese beetle grubs when I'm digging, I give them those also. They go crazy for the JB grubs!! :)
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

User avatar
Gary350
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 4981
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 5:59 pm
Location: TN. 50 years of gardening experience.

Re: My Compost Bin

If I eat all vegetables it comes out like a cow pile the next day, I think it should all go into the compost. I don't really do compost anymore I till all organic material and manure directly into the garden soil. Yesterday I mowed the tree leaves and blew them all in the direction of the garden.

https://video.search.yahoo.com/yhs/sear ... 30dcaf72a0
Last edited by Gary350 on Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:29 pm, edited 6 times in total.

User avatar
ElizabethB
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2109
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2012 5:53 am
Location: Lafayette, LA

Re: My Compost Bin

SQWIB - nice.
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

Return to “Composting Forum”