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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Dystopia
    Posts
    17,657

    Composting household food

    What say yee.

    Been wanting to do it. But don’t feel like breaking out the pitchfork.

    Anyone here using a tumbler? That seems way more convenient.

    Researched it a few years ago but gave up after mixed reviews.

    I do like having the scrap bin instead of garbage bin when at friends homes.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    In a van... down by the river
    Posts
    10,607
    Have one like this. It's kinda cool how much shit you can put in it and it never really gets full...


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    northern BC
    Posts
    27,995
    I used to compost all the grass clippings for a 60' x 100' foot lot in an 8x8'' crib, I had to tend it a little with moisture & turning but it never got full
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    truckee
    Posts
    21,011
    We've composted vegetarian food waste and garden waste in Sacramento in a bin you tumble. Works well and we get very nice compost. I would prefer one you feed from the top and empty from the bottom so you can keep adding stuff while being able to use the stuff that's been in there long enough. Now Sac is telling people they can put their food waste--including meat and food soiled paper and cardboard--in the garden waste bin for pickup and composting by the city.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Carbondale
    Posts
    11,861
    We do all of our veg and starches. We need to add water here in Colorado (west slope), but I've never filled our big bin and also got a tumbler for some added mechanical help.
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    formerly an ambassador for a few others, but the ski industry is... interesting.
    Fukt: a very small amount of snow.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    A LSD Steakhouse somewhere in the Wasatch
    Posts
    13,137
    we compost a good bit and use it all in the gardens for planting and top dressing
    we use 1 plastic main one that gits all the foodscraps coffee grounds n such and a few other ones 1 plastic and a couple chix wire that hold ,leaves, yard waste and last seasons garden plants and use those to add to the main food one in the spring fall or as needed
    i dont mind turning them over with a pitchfork por that part
    its the weeks worth of the countertop one turnin my stomach
    sometimes the charcoal filters work too good
    thats one of those ,i luvs my wife and all, sources of matrimonial humors in our households
    "When the child was a child it waited patiently for the first snow and it still does"- Van "The Man" Morrison
    "I find I have already had my reward, in the doing of the thing" - Buzz Holmstrom
    "THIS IS WHAT WE DO"-AML -ski on in eternal peace
    "I have posted in here but haven't read it carefully with my trusty PoliAsshat antenna on."-DipshitDanno

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Greg_o
    Posts
    2,068
    I've got one that feeds in from the top. Use it almost daily for kitchen scraps and get great compost from it for the garden. Only complaint about it is it only has one opening at the bottom, so I'm never really reaching anything at the back. It should have openings on opposite sides. Tumbler style seems ideal.

    I also have a larger diy 4'x4'x4' one for grass clippings and fall garden clean up stuff.

    It is oddly satisfying opening it up and feeling the heat emanating from it.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    EWA
    Posts
    21,553
    Quote Originally Posted by Core Shot View Post
    What say yee.

    Been wanting to do it. But don’t feel like breaking out the pitchfork.

    Anyone here using a tumbler? That seems way more convenient.

    Researched it a few years ago but gave up after mixed reviews.

    I do like having the scrap bin instead of garbage bin when at friends homes.
    Used a pile, used a tumbler, used a roll of 2x3 wire. It's all good.

    With the wire you can just unfasten it where the ends meet and pull it off then spread the pile with a tractor or by hand depending how big it is. I usually layer with grasses, hay, twigs etc. so air gets in there but because it's just a wire frame it breaths a lot and gets rain.
    When you see something that is not right, not just, not fair, you have a moral obligation to say something. To do something." Rep. John Lewis


    Kindness is a bridge between all people

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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Posts
    422
    Anyone have any problems attracting bears or other unwanted wildlife e.g., trash pandas?

    We have problems w/ bears getting in peoples trash here cause people.

    I sorta figured keeping composting food in my yard would probably lead to trouble, so haven't tried it though I'd like too.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    northern BC
    Posts
    27,995
    I think thats why you don't compost meat scraps ^^ I just did yard waste,

    My compost pile was made of crib stacked treated landscaping ties lined with chicken wire to keep it all in
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    valley of the heart's delight
    Posts
    1,896
    Funny this should come up as I posted my plastic rant. My city has decided we're separating food scraps into separate bins now. I question the economics and environmental impact, though I can see there's some value in preventing landfill methane. I pick up some of the city's compost product every Spring for my garden, as do many others.

    As for doing it yourself, whatever happened to the worm bin trend? Scraps in the top, oh so valuable worm castings (poop) out the bottom. Supposedly the black gold of soil amendments.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    A LSD Steakhouse somewhere in the Wasatch
    Posts
    13,137
    i was doin worms in the garage but now there in and an essential part of the outdoor composting process
    "When the child was a child it waited patiently for the first snow and it still does"- Van "The Man" Morrison
    "I find I have already had my reward, in the doing of the thing" - Buzz Holmstrom
    "THIS IS WHAT WE DO"-AML -ski on in eternal peace
    "I have posted in here but haven't read it carefully with my trusty PoliAsshat antenna on."-DipshitDanno

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    EWA
    Posts
    21,553
    Quote Originally Posted by Chair 6 View Post
    Anyone have any problems attracting bears or other unwanted wildlife e.g., trash pandas?

    We have problems w/ bears getting in peoples trash here cause people.

    I sorta figured keeping composting food in my yard would probably lead to trouble, so haven't tried it though I'd like too.
    When I lived on Mercer Island rats would come to the compost pile.
    When you see something that is not right, not just, not fair, you have a moral obligation to say something. To do something." Rep. John Lewis


    Kindness is a bridge between all people

    Dunkin’ Donuts Worker Dances With Customer Who Has Autism

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Posts
    422
    I'm just gonna stick w/ yard waste then

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    northern BC
    Posts
    27,995
    how many potato peels are you going to keep out of landfill ?

    While all the yard waste from a city lot will be maybe 5 bags of clippings plus the bags
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Middle of the NEK
    Posts
    5,468
    Quote Originally Posted by KQ View Post
    When I lived on Mercer Island rats would come to the compost pile.
    Squirrels seem to be my most frequent visitors to my open compost pile (surrounded by a 2x3"x4' wire fence).

    The most annoying part is the food scrap container that I have inside needs to be emptied daily this time of year due to fruit flies.
    Aim for the chopping block. If you aim for the wood, you will have nothing. Aim past the wood, aim through the wood.
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  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Greg_o
    Posts
    2,068
    To hold the food scraps I use 'Korean tupperware' aka old plastic kimchi jars.

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  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    I can still smell Poutine.
    Posts
    20,258
    Trash pandas like my composter. And skunks.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    EWA
    Posts
    21,553
    Quote Originally Posted by From_the_NEK View Post
    Squirrels seem to be my most frequent visitors to my open compost pile (surrounded by a 2x3"x4' wire fence).

    The most annoying part is the food scrap container that I have inside needs to be emptied daily this time of year due to fruit flies.
    Fruit flies are the worst.

    Scraps go into a container in the sink while I'm preparing food then I toss that in an old horse feed bucket outside the garage door which eventually gets dumped in the compost on my way to the barn.
    When you see something that is not right, not just, not fair, you have a moral obligation to say something. To do something." Rep. John Lewis


    Kindness is a bridge between all people

    Dunkin’ Donuts Worker Dances With Customer Who Has Autism

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    between campus and church
    Posts
    8,779

    Composting household food

    We composted everything but bones in our backyard composter. Bears would ransack it annually but it snapped back together (until one near snapped the tabs). Each spring when I dug up the compost for garden bedding I would inevitably skewer a baby mole that mama had birthed at the bottom of the pile to keep ‘em warm in the winter.

    Now that we live in town, industrial composting is required so it goes in the bin in the alley and gets taken away and dumped in windrows.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Shuswap Highlands
    Posts
    3,823
    Managed large composts at the folks farm - it was called the chicken coop. Their waste, mixed with the bedding and wood chips was left for at least a full year before using in the garden. Best compost ever.

    House in a subdivision, we have 3 ‘earth machines’ - plastic conical composters we got for $25 each from the village. Then it’s about managing green (kitchen waste, and garden waste not mostly comprised or stalk or leaf), and brown (grass clippings, leaf and not-so-woody stalks). The brown goes in a loose pile to dry, and then store/break down in composter #1. Green and brown goes together in composter #2 at about a 50/50 mix, and gets turned every other week or so. Before winter, composter #2 gets coarse sifted with the sifted material going into compost #3 for seasoning over winter. Come spring, half of #3 goes into the early planting, the bottom half gets planted with potatoes (the composters are top and bottom 2-piece). After the potatoes are done, the remains also go into the garden beds.

    No issues with putting fish and meat waste in the compost for us - but a big bear-dog and a bit extra brown along with burying a bit deeper keeps any smell down. No bear issues, no Norway rats here, and raccoons are rare here. And did I mention a big hound that loves chewing on critters?

    The local waste station doesn’t take compost, sod or dirt - only yard waste, leaves and branches up to 3”. So except for the branches and other hard woody material, we compost it all.

    The bit extra time in the composter the second year mostly deals with seeds, but we still gets lots of dill and red spinach volunteers, which are mostly welcome.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Wasatch Back: 7000'
    Posts
    12,347
    We did it when we built a farm house on a 5 acre winter wheat field in rural NJ. My wife wanted a large garden and plenty of fruit and berry trees/bushes. I met a local farmer who used a loader to fill a 6’ bed with cow manure. I made a chicken wire bed and threw the manure in there. It was filled with worms. We would place all of our biodegradable food waste in there (wilted lettuce, carrot and apple peels, pumpkins, gourds, squash, coffee grinds, hay, etc.) and frequently turn it with a pitch fork. This compost helped me to plant 40 fruit trees and 35 to 40 evergreens. It was hot but it worked like magic
    “How does it feel to be the greatest guitarist in the world? I don’t know, go ask Rory Gallagher”. — Jimi Hendrix

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    northern BC
    Posts
    27,995
    fruit fly trap is a glass half full or half empty of stale wine ( is there such a thing ? ) with a piece of saran over the top , punch a few holes in the saran so they get in but they never get out
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Ottawa
    Posts
    632
    Quote Originally Posted by Chair 6 View Post
    Anyone have any problems attracting bears or other unwanted wildlife e.g., trash pandas?

    We have problems w/ bears getting in peoples trash here cause people.

    I sorta figured keeping composting food in my yard would probably lead to trouble, so haven't tried it though I'd like too.
    I add cayenne pepper a few times a year to keep invaders away. Is that cruel? You decide, but it works.

    Otherwise, my only compost rule to keep rodents and whatever else is ”No meats and no fats”

    I put that in my city pickup.
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  25. #25
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Before
    Posts
    26,311
    We do veggies only.
    Quart container next to cutting board->2 gallon bucket in the sunroom-> compost pile in the woods 50 feet from the house.

    We get bears very occasionally nosing around. Other than that, no critters.
    Works great for the gardens and flowerpots.
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