Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Making Dirt

For the first time this year, the household budget does not include a large house project. So we have allowed ourselves a few smaller purchases including a new stove and this:


This is a Jora Compost Tumbler. I first read about these on my favorite gardening blog You Grow Girl. For several years we have maintained a cold compost pile which gave us all sorts of trouble during the summer with fruit flies. We just could never seem to find enough appropriate brown material to make it work, and we never really got that serious about turning it and watering it and all that stuff one is supposed to do on a regular basis to maintain a hot compost pile. Once our CSA share this summer started I just couldn't stand the thought of the scraps going into the trash, and so we went ahead and bought the Jora.

This composter isn't cheap, but it is made of stainless steel and should last many more years than the plastic composters out there. The genius behind this composter is the two chamber system. Right now we are filling the left chamber. When it is full, we will start filling the right chamber. By the time that is full, the left will be fully composted. The chambers are also lined with foam (the one thing I am not thrilled with, but still better than all-plastic composters), which means it is usable all winter long.

The Jora is designed specifically to deal with kitchen waste. It takes very little brown material. We are using saw dust that we get from the carpenter down the street. Some people buy sawdust pellets.

It's been pretty amazing to watch the process at work. The first two weeks there were a few fruit flies. Then things started cooking. Now there are no fruit flies, and every time I open it, steam comes out and I can feel the heat. Best of all, it is nice to know that the scraps from all those lovely CSA vegetables are going to nourish my own garden next year rather than going to a landfill.


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