Monday, November 18, 2013

THE EARTH MACHINE COMPOSTER








This is the compost bin that we got at the recent City of Houston sale I blogged about last week.  It is the EARTH MACHINE, which is also sold at many retailers.  We were able to get it via the city for a steeply discounted price and we bought two of them so we could double our fun, ha.






They came packaged like this, the top half inside the bottom half, along with a manual and some earth anchor screws.








It was pretty easy to assemble.  You line up the arrows on the top half with the bottom half and then the tabs snap into place.  All that's left is to snap the door into place and find a spot for it to go.




Once you pick the spot, there are four of these long plastic screws that they call 'earth anchors'.  The are just screwed into the ground and surprisingly, they work really well to stabilize it.






This is where we put them, one in each corner of the back side of the garden area.  They are inside the fence so that they are somewhat more animal resistant.  You can also reach over the top and unscrew the lid to add material to it without having to go in the garden.






The lid has a nice little reminder for composting, "no meat, fats, bones".
Both of them already have some grass clippings, leaves, coffee grounds, and some vegetable scraps we saved during the week in town.  I tore up a small cardboard box and tossed in there as well.  I snapped this picture and then added some more clippings on top.

Beginning compost
We are excited to start our new adventure in composting!
Any tips or advice is always appreciated.


22 comments:

Jenny said...

We have the same one at our large garden and two other types at back of the property. It's very easy to use, lid tends to get stuck once in a while (especially winter) but it's pretty good overall. Not easy to turn it but if you have several of these you can fill each up and let them sit while you're filling others. We'll be removing compost in spring to add to our beds.

Jane and Chris said...

We have the same one (wish we'd bought shares!).I must admit to a secret thrill in making compost.We keep our ash bin next to it so we can throw in some ash too.
Jane x

Annie*s Granny said...

Mine has served me for many years, but yes, the lid does get stuck in the locked position at times. We had to actually break the lid off last year, so now it goes without. Another problem is that after a couple of years the top and bottom warp out of shape just enough that they no longer line up to snap together. I think two people, working together, could manage to hold the pieces in place until they snap in, but I find it an impossible task to do by myself, so mine just always sits a bit catywampus. Having two containers would be the only practical way to turn the contents. Fill one up, then when the contents reach the top just lift the entire container off and turn everything into the second to finish it off. Lather, rinse, repeat. I found I ran out of "browns" to layer with the "greens", but shredded newspaper is an option. You might consider speeding it up with a method called drunken composting (google it). I'm thinking the addition of these substances, just lightly mixed in every few layers, might just work. I keep telling myself I'm going to try it, but Mr. Granny won't part with his beer. Of course, you and first man could use the container as a urinal and probably get the same results. Urine is an excellent way to speed up the composting, but not a method I would personally care to use LOL!

I happen to be the world's worst compost maker, so take everything I say about it with a grain of salt. I trench compost most of my kitchen scraps right into the beds where I'll be planting. I use my bins for mixed chopped leaves and grass clippings, they break down nicely and make a lovely mulch.

Sandy said...

1st Man,
Having a compost that is closed helps keep the little critters out. You'll enjoy putting the processed compost on your garden before planting.

The Stay @ Home-Gardener said...

Drunken Composting...I should have known!

kymber said...

Jane and Chris - i have to admit to my secret thrill as well! i love cooking with veggies - it means i have a nice pile of cuttings and peelings for the composter- woohoo!!!

kymber said...

teehee...hey 1st Man - guess who regularly pees in the compost? NO I DON'T MEAN ME, YA NUTTER - IT'S TOO TALL - bahahahahah!

your friend,
kymber

kymber said...

1st Man - i am glad you got the composters and for a good price! our county does the same thing by providing them for less than half price - plus THEY DELIVER if you can believe that! even out to the middle of nowhere to Framboise Manor!!! it was an elderly gentleman who delivered them and then spent almost an hour telling us how to properly use them - it was lovely!!! he also brought 2 garbage bags of shredded paper for us for layering - he was very specific at explaining the proper layering techniques. anyway, those babies have been going full tilt for 2 full years now and we plan on using the compost this spring - the stuff coming out of the bottom of our scraps is like delicious gold!

we also have 2 other big giant piles just laying in the yard. because we have 3 male cats who pee all around the perimeter of our yard...as well as You Know Who peeing all over the perimeter ( NO - NOT ME! it's jambaloney!!) we haven't had any probs with critters getting into our piles.

also, our set up: just outside the back door we have a huge, empty kitty litter bucket that we dump our kitchen scraps in. it takes about 2 or 3 days to fill. it has a lid and there is no smell coming from it all. jambaloney laughs when i have scraps to take out because i love to take off the lid, get hit by that gorgeous smell of freshly-rotting food, but what i love most is after a few days, when it's full --- i make a big, giant celebration out of bringing the bucket to the compost pile. i know i sound like a freak but i am a freak - nothing to be done about it!!!

i just know that you are going to invent some strange, weird and crazy ritual involving your compost buckets too and i can't wait to hear all about them! you guys are really moving forward in learning how to grow your own food, fertilize your garden beds, and become more self-sufficient! congrats buddy!

your friend,
kymber

Annie*s Granny said...

Haha, I said "you and first man". That'll teach me to comment before I finish my first cup of coffee. Of course, I meant you and 2nd. Man!

Jane and Chris said...

kymber...good grief...we both get a thrill from composting AND use a litter bucket!
Jane x

1st Man said...

Thanks for the tip about the lids. Two will be a good start, we hope, ha. Thanks for the info!!!

1st Man said...

Yay! I'm glad to hear others have the same one. It's supposed to be one of the good ones. I know there are bigger options like building a large one on your own, etc, but for now, we just need to get started and that will work well. So excited to start it, I can see how exciting it can be. Kymber, you should have heard me earlier. We had some eggs for dinner tonight, 2nd Man was cleaning up and I said "where are the egg shells?" Sheepishly, he said "um, I put them int the garbage disposal". OOPS! I need to be quicker now, ha. It's kind of exciting and fun isn't it??

1st Man said...

My gosh, I leave for a few hours and come back to Kymber, Granny and Cloud drinking and peeing in my compost. Jeesh. LOL!!!!!!!!!

All great info and I promise not to blog about EVERYTHING.

1st Man said...

I think that's what I can't wait for. Need some 'black gold' as they call it, right? It will hopefully be a very rewarding experience. :-) P.S. Stay warm!

1st Man said...

Kymber, what great info! And your enthusiasm is infectious. Thanks!! Oh the images of J I now have in my head. Hey, it's a guy thing. I promise not to blog about it, or maybe....ha. I like the idea of a compost bucket. I've been thinking what to use around the house in town so I can keep the stuff during the week and then get it out to the farm. Kitty litter bucket is a good idea. Hmmm, now that i think about it, I have a 5 gallon bucket I'm not using, it has a tight fitting lid of course. I just want something we can dump stuff in but not have the smell and attract creatures in the night. I will do some googling and get some idea but I might have to use the kitty litter bucket. Heck, our cats use a litter that's from a bag but I think the neighbor uses the bucket kind.

Yes, we are making steps, baby steps, but it's getting there slowly but surely. Thank you for everything!

Much luv!

1st and 2nd ;-)

1st Man said...

Granny, you gave some great advice, thank you. I never thought about shredded paper. We have a shredder bin at work, I could run some newspaper through it and get some good shreds. Definitely looking up drunken composting. Heck, I'm not a big 'beer lover' so I don't mind pouring out a bottle or two, ha. Thanks again!!

Linda said...

A kitty litter bucket should work for a week's worth of scraps. I used a Folger plastic can on the counter by the sink. I used an ice pick and put about six holes in the lid. I was at the sink lots, but I could never smell the contents. If you keep the compost materials in an airtight container, the smell will gag you. Anaerobic rot is the worst thing on earth. Everything turns all liquid and grows mold. That would be enough to put you off composting! Neither house flies nor fruit flies seemed to be attracted to the compost on the counter.

The compost pile outside in a building block corral never smelled. If you get flies in the compost pile, put leaves on the top. I suppose flies cannot find their way down to the stuff they want. But, leaves work for fly control in the compost.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget to go next door and get some horse and/or cow manure. The microbes and other critters in manure REALLY get your compost heating up. Also, keep a dedicated bucket in your kitchen near the sink or where you do prep, and you can make 1 trip a day to the bin. Even save the stuff in town to bring out. Put a paper towel or a few coffee filters in the bottom to help everything come out easily and the paper will compost too. Coffee grounds will help keep the critters from bothering the veggie matter. Don't foirget to let your eggshells dry a tad, then crunch them up and throw those in too.

1st Man said...

Now that's some great advice. Thank you. See I didn't think about the holes in the lid. I would have had a mess, ha. Right now we've get stuff in a bag in the fridge because it hasn't been a huge amount but I need to get something like that large can for the kitchen. And I've got leaves for the bins. Thanks again!!

1st Man said...

Yes, thank you for that. I think 2nd Family gets some as well, maybe I need to remind them to snag a bit for us as well. Love the suggestion of coffee filters for the bucket. Thank you for the info!!

Gammy Tammy said...

LOL!!! 1st man, we gardeners don't mind you BLOGGING about it, (we'll probably get kick out of it), but NO pictures please! haha

1st Man said...

DEFINITELY no pics, ha. But hey, if it works, I might just have to mention it. Surreptitiously of course, ha.