composting - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 04-25-2008, 07:05 PM
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i have searched the composting threads but am not getting the info i need.

we are a vegan family of 4. we belong to a csa and get lots of produce that has lots of produce scraps independent of other produce scraps from stuff we dont get thru the farm.

i am looking for a fairly inexpensive composting system and am confused by the options and what would best suit our needs.

we just moved. at our old house we had a compost pile at the edge of our large yard that there was a big field in back of. we did not have to worry about any odor b/c of it.

i have seen worm composters. do you need to keep buying worms? i am not thinking so as it seems as if they multiply. is there an odor with a worm composter? i have also seen composters--both cedar and plastic that claim they are good for xyz reason.

i need something to not have odor as neighbors are right on top of us. one composter stated that it could handle 6-8 lbs a day. well, we are a small family and dont need that volume. at most i would say that we have what would fit in 1.5 gallons. sometimes over the summer when we are picking up produce maybe slightly more, but most times, less.

can anyone direct me with regard to what type of system to get?

any advice/direction is appreciated!!!!
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#2 Old 04-25-2008, 08:05 PM
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I'm just reading up on this as well. It seems like the worms are a one-time-deal unless you don't feed them and they die or something. Most people selling their worms are selling the extras from THEIR composting bins.

And any of them, if you do them well, they will smell like earth, like dirt, not like garbage. The easiest would be digging a hole or putting up chicken wire on the lawn somewhere and tossing stuff in there, then fluffing with pitchfork, etc. If you are renting and this isn't possible (like me), the options are a little more pricy. You can go as simple as a modified black garbage can, from what I understand, though, so it does not have to be fancy.

Watching this thread, though, and hope you find some answers from people that have done this!
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#3 Old 04-25-2008, 09:47 PM
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yes, the cheapest is a simple rubbermaid type just need to put holes all around it/ a few on the bottom, to allow for good air flow and drainage. You can find worms from your own garden/land or buy some red wigglers (vermicomposting).

If you are composting w/o the worms, you want to make sure you havea good balance of brown and green items. Brown is dried leaves, grass clippings, etc. Newspaper *not colored* is good too, to rip into strips and add to the mix as well. your green is veggie scraps and such.

you want to mix it up and aerate the layers of brown/green matter each day.

beka is right, if the compost is doing well, it shouldnt smell. And certainly, by the time it has turned to soil compost, it is indeed dirt.

heres a good article w/ some links:
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#4 Old 04-26-2008, 09:36 AM
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I found a bin with holes in it...small because that serves our purposes....and a sort of makeshift lid for it. I agree with all here. I don't use worms or anything, just newspaper and food scraps. there's just two of us so we don't have a lot, but it seems to be working well. it's right by the back door and doesn't smell at all.

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#5 Old 04-27-2008, 06:14 PM
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Check with your local solid waste agency to see if you can get a stationery plastic composter from them. Many towns sell them at cost ($30-$40) and they're perfect for families like yours. They're made from recycled plastic, and can hold a little or a lot. Vermicomposting is fun in the winter, but in summer when there's lots of kitchen trimming going on you'll do better with an enclosed composter, I think.
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#6 Old 04-28-2008, 09:19 AM
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thank you all for your help and opinions--still not sure what i will do. i found out that a neighbor has a compost pile so i need to talk to him. i will contact our solid waste agency--and thank you, Bcomplx for that tip!
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#7 Old 04-28-2008, 10:15 AM
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I followed the (very affordable) recommendations from my city's website: I used chicken wire, with a post weaved through the "seam" where it comes together. There is no smell, and I haven't added worms because worms have access to it since it is right on the ground. I haven't had a problem with other bugs like flies or cockroaches (though we will see how it goes as the summer goes on). Once every week or two I open up the chicken wire, pull the stuff out, and wet it down as I put it back in (it is very dry here). The stuff on the bottom is composting nicely, maybe slowly (I don't know, I've never done this before).

Best of luck!
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#8 Old 05-07-2008, 12:47 PM
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how does it work in the winter? if you have an enclosed container that you don't add to throughout the winter can you just jump back into using it in the spring or do you have empty it out and start from scratch?

i'm thinking of putting one out in the field where the veggie garden is but in the winter the field is knee-deep or more in snow

anything else i should know about as to what should and shouldn't go in it? i live with omnis.

I'm singin' here to get rid of fear
Hope it disappears right here with the rain
But I know life is pain, not like a fairytale
Meaningless to pray, so just goin' on my way
~Miyavi "Torture"
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