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SallyK 05-22-2003 12:03 PM

Maybe you guys can help me...I've somehow aquired a flyer for a home composter and I'd like to order one. It's the least expensive one I've ever seen. But the only info given is a website and I can't seem to get the site to come up. It's a Home Composter brand put out by Greenline Products. The website is listed as but I can't open it for some reason. Does anyone know of a website offering this same composter? It's only $40 and comes with a 10 year warranty and a free book about composting. If anyone knows anything, let me know! THANKS!!


soilman 05-22-2003 01:51 PM

I don't use a composter, or compost "bin," and I would have to buy about 10 typical-sized home-composting devices, for all the compst I need for a 2000 sq ft garden. They are just too small, produce too little compost.

I simply lay out a "garden row' (20 feet long) of material to be composted, about 4 feet high and 4 feet wide, then shovel a bit of finished compost over the top, then shovel a bit of soil from each side of the compost, on top, to keep the material from blowing away. I of course also put water on the top right away, to help with keeping the material from blowing away.

This works very well. It produce a pile of compost about 2 feet high, 2 feet wide, and 3 feet long. I typically have 3 rows of material in various stages of decompositon -- and still could use more compost.

Yes I can't simply turn a crank-handle to turn the compost. I have to turn the compost with a garden fork, bit by bit -- a time-consuming process, and one of the main reasons my hernia has stopped me from gardening.

The next simplest method is to use welded wire fencing in a circle, or in 2 rows, about 4 feet apart, held up with stakes, to keep the material from blowing away. Then only a smaller amount of finished compost on the top is needed (more as a starter than as a wind-protector).

I couldn't link to the site you indicated, SallyK.

dvmarie 05-22-2003 06:32 PM

Originally posted by SallyK

Maybe you guys can help me...I've somehow aquired a flyer for a home composter and I'd like to order one. It's the least expensive one I've ever seen. But the only info given is a website and I can't seem to get the site to come up.

I couldn't open the site either.

I might sound negative, but I would be nervous getting a flier where only a web site was listed as contact - and then the site didn't even work.

I want to and did a search "buy compost bin" - some sites came up. Maybe you could try that.

Some sites also came up on how to build a compost bin........ maybe we should should inform dirtdiva (she's good with a hammer and nails!! )

Oatmeal 05-22-2003 06:34 PM

You mean...


i just tried, because i think underscores are unlikely in business domains...

dvmarie 05-22-2003 09:13 PM

Here's how lame-brained I am

I go to that web site - and it comes up with that "missing a piece?" message and puzzle - and I'm waiting for the rest of the site to load

and I'm waiting

and I'm waiting

and I'm waiting

FINALLY - I point my mouse to the missing piece..........

SallyK 05-22-2003 10:25 PM

Oatmeal, you rock!! THANKS!!



soilman 05-23-2003 12:31 PM

Unfortunately, they don't provide either a photo, a drawing, or a verbal description of their compost bin. ?????

No clue as to how many cubic feet of goop it holds.

What's with them? Everyone selling a product usually describes the product.

SallyK 05-23-2003 11:00 PM

The flier that I have has all that information. I have learned that I have to buy it through a local master gardener or through my local recycling program.

dvmarie 05-24-2003 12:20 AM

Hope you let us know how it goes SallyK. I've never composted seriously. I've read about it - just never done it. Starting with a small home sized bin seems like a good way to get your feet wet.

terrafae 05-24-2003 09:25 AM

Do you have a Costco membership or know someone who has one? I got a bin there for $30-40 (I can't remember exactly) and it's great!

Here's the one I bought...

They have it listed on this site though for $70!

soilman 05-24-2003 09:36 AM

In order for compost to develop rapidly, it has to be mixed, turned. This compost bin doesn't appear to make that any easier than a simple piece of wire mesh to hold the compost in a pile, or a simple scrap lumber device nailed together, about the same size.

This soilsaver device is about 2 1/3 feet by 2 1/3 feet by 2 2/3 feet high. That's about 15 cubic feet. Which means after you fill it up once, you will end up with compost measuring about 3/4 of 1 cubic foot. A small bucketful. About 1 foot by 1 foot by about 3/4 feet high. Probably less. If you spread this amt of compost 2 inches thick, it will cover an area about 2 feet 2 inches by 2 feet 2 inches , about 4.5 square feet. Probably less.

A bin this size is probably plenty big enough to compost kitchen waste, for 4 people, but not big enouhg to feed a garden area any more than about 2 feet by 2 feet. You just need more compost for even the smallest garden, if you want to reduce significantly reduce dependency or industrially produced fertilizer.

People don't seem to realize the "huge" amount of space needed to produce a practical amount of compost.

For my 2000 sq foot garden, I had about 720 cubic feet of leaves, grass clippings, kitchen waste, seaweed, mowed and pulled green manures and plant parts not eaten (such as corn stalks, clover, rye grass, oat straw, soybean straw, etcetera, mostly leaves and lawn-grass clippings -- my lawn grass was mostly rye), in 3 piles, at different stages of decomposition. Each pile 4 feet wide by 3 feet high by 20 feet long. And this was not quite enough compost.

terrafae 05-24-2003 09:49 AM

For my needs with a small garden it holds plenty (more than a bucketful, but certainly not enough to cover a big yard sized garden). It's designed so that you don't have to water it or turn the contents at all or at least less frequently, depending on how soon you want it to develop. It is a very simple design, and I know that I for one would never motivate myself to put together a bin of my own and maintain it to produce the optimal results, so this is a helpful tool to keep me recycling.

SallyK 05-24-2003 03:25 PM

I don't even have a garden. I just have some flowers planted here and there. I just want a convenient place to put my kitchen scraps and yard trimmings. Currently, all of our yard trimmings are sitting in a pile looking pretty ugly in our yard. And it seems silly to pay the garbage people to come and pick up our yard clippings when I could put them in a bin and put them to good use.

soilman 05-24-2003 05:25 PM

Such a device would indeed be good for the use you describe, SallyK. Though larger trimmings such as trimmings from bushes, containing twigs larger than, say, abut 3/8 inches, 10 millimeters, will not compost rapidly. They may take several years to decompose.

kittay 05-24-2003 05:50 PM

i have a composting question...really, it's a silly one that my mother and her best friend didn't agree on so we've all always wondered who was right. is there some rule against putting cooked foods in, or should it just be the uncooked scraps?

my parents just fence off a corner of the yard and compost there, then move the compost into piles that get turned periodically as more builds up. the thing about using the corner sometimes was how it kept the neighbor kids from jumping over the fence if they lost a ball in our garden. no telling what all they might land in.

i really miss the compost pile though, that and how handy our rabbits were to help me out with not wasting veggies...

Oatmeal 05-24-2003 07:54 PM

SallyK have you ever considered worm composting?

Don't know why you shouldn't cooked food, haven't heard that one before. Maybe if it's too oily it could take long to decompose? Also, I'd avoid composting animal parts.

cheeno 05-24-2003 08:05 PM

There is an article about composting in this months edition of Gardening Australia. Also with an excellent design for constructing your own compost frame out of recycled things that can be found all around rubbish tips and such (corrogated iron, top half of an old wheelie bin ect). Excellent way to reuse old materials!! Anyway the fellow says you can compost cooked materials as well. If your interested I can explain about this home made compost frame. It was a friends magazine I read it on, but I can easily borrow it and let you know.

Goodluck with it.

soilman 05-24-2003 09:39 PM

You can add some cooked plant matter to a compost heap. But it should be about 90 uncooked. All animal-origin materials should be avoided, with the possible exception of egg-shells (tho personally I don't use egg shells). No flesh, no bones, no dairy products, no urine, no excrement.

terrafae 05-25-2003 08:32 AM

What about moose poop? I've been wanting to know about that for some time now. Is moose poop safe for to compost?

soilman 05-25-2003 09:24 AM

"Is moose poop safe for to compost?"

No. No poop should be added to compost; the only poop in compost shoulud be the poop of small animals living in the compost (earthworms, beneficial nematodes).

Even the poop of herbivorous animals contains dangerous micro-organisms, and smelly ones which will turn a wonderful soil-smelling compost pile to a a poopy-smelling pile. The dangerous micro-organisms can cause diseases, even if you thorogly wash your produce.

Herbivorous poop should not be used as a soil amendment unless it has first been properly treated first. I'm not sure what is involved, since I don't use it for reasons of wanting to avoid products of animal husbandry. This is not my "anti-animal-husbandry" idea, it is the recommendation of every cooperative extension group in the US, and they are not a veg group. Don't use even herbivorous poop, unless it is first properly processed.

Poop of carnivorous animals should be scrupulously avoided. Nastier pathogenic micro-organims. Heavy metals. Even a little bit should be removed, along with a bit of surrounding soil. Keep cats and dogs away from your garden and compost.

terrafae 05-25-2003 09:56 AM

Thank you! I guess I'll just have to use all that moose poop in my yard for making fine jewelry or maybe a nice pet moose nugget instead!

(really, they sell that stuff!! check it out.)

Hee hee! Frightening isn't it?

soilman 05-25-2003 10:09 AM

You can probably use moose poop to make a high-nitrogen soil amendment, but you need to know how to make it safe first. And I don't know how it's done, so you'll have to find out elsewhere.

Just remember that the kind of excrement you add to you soil, influences the taste of produce grown in the soil (some kinds of produce more than others).

GhostUser 05-26-2003 08:14 AM

soilman, if i've never composted before, and I want to start, how do I get allready composted material to put on the top?

I also only need a very little space as all I want to do is have a place to put my kitchen scraps and maybe some weeds i've pulled out of the yard.

soilman 05-26-2003 08:33 AM

"if i've never composted before, and I want to start, how do I get allready composted material to put on the top?"

Plntygood you can skip that part if you've never composted before.

If you aren't using a bin and need to put something on top to keep materials from blowing away, you can use ordinary soil from your garden instead.

Skylark 05-26-2003 09:26 PM

My grandma just told me that she put pig manure on her garden last year, and she didn't this year because she believed the garden had been manured enough for this year, too. Should I turn down all foods that come from her garden?

soilman 05-27-2003 12:45 AM

"Should I turn down all foods that come from her garden?"

I assume you mean pig excrement, rather than other kinds of manures that could come from pigs, such as, I don't know, pig bone meal. ("Manure" is not synonymous with "excrement" it is synonmyous with "soil additive of any kind")

I don't think so. I figure it's probably better than food from lots of other gardens.

Pig manure does give a decidedly different flavor-aroma than foods grown in cattle feces. Most taste-testers insist cattle and horse feces produce best flavor, then chicken, then pig.

Produce grown in the various kinds of excrement has a taste that is subtly but unmistakably remininiscent of the excrement itself. This is not due to excrement on the surface but due to substances taken up by the plant's roots, and dispersed thuout the plant by its vascular system.

If you ate the produce but didn't work with the soil, you probably wouldn't smell the connection; but if you work the excrment into the soil, become familiar with its smell, and months later take frozen produce out of the freezer -- when you eat this produce you'll suddenly be reminded of the kind of excrement it was grown in several months ago.

WonderRandy 05-27-2003 01:34 AM

we keep our compost heap covered with a tarp, cuz it rains so much here, and the rain will leach out the nutrients if it's left uncovered.

we lay down a layer of kitchen scraps, a layer of yard waste, a layer of soil, and repeat until the pile is about 3 ft high. then we move to another spot and start over. after the first pile has sat for a couple months, we start using it. But we have to watch out for centipedes! they LOVE the stuff. hundreds of em!!

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