Manufactured Compost Bins

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 19,875
    Master gardener Ed Bruske discusses manufactured compost bins.

    Ed Bruske

    An award-winning journalist for The Wasington Post in a previous life, Ed Bruske is a Master Gardener and president of D.C. Urban Gardeners, a group dedicated to the greening of the District of Columbia through public education and hands-on volunteer efforts. An accomplished public speaker, Ed focuses his lecture activities on composting and soil ecology. He practices daily organic recycling through composting and vermicomposting at his home about a mile from the White House, where he and his wife are transforming their corner lot into an edible landscape. Ed is a personal chef, caterer and chef-in-residence at The Washington Youth Garden, located at the U.S. National Arboretum in the District of Columbia. He also writes about composting and cooking from the garden on his blog, The Slow Cook, www.theslowcook.blogspot.com.

    Hi! I am Ed Bruske with D.C. Urban Gardeners, and we are in here now at the Children's Studio School Garden, it's a just a few blocks from my home garden and we built this large container garden last year, and we were given this composter - if you remember, I talked earlier about manufactured type of composters. So this isn't a compost bin that you build yourself, although it did require a little bit of assembly when it arrived. But this is manufactured to work just as you see it; a big barrel set horizontally, it actually has two chambers, one here, and one here that you access by flipping open these hooks here, and then it sets on a stand that has these rollers. Then instead of turning the bin -- turning the compost with the pitch fork or a spade, you use this handle here to turn the bin.

    And you can hear all the contents of the compost bin shaking around in there, and that does the same sort of aerating action with the bacteria, that we do when we actually manually fork the compost. It's the contents in there which are the same sort of contents, grass clippings, leaves that we collected in the fall, shredded newspaper and actually some leftovers or scraps from the lunchroom here at the school, have been placed in the compost, watered and turned once or twice every day to keep that air circulating with the bacteria, and keep the bacteria moving. This is a pretty big composter model. They don't get much bigger than this for home use, it would be pretty hard to turn, but actually there are a lot of different composting models and much smaller, that you could use even on an apartment balcony or on your back patio or in your back yard. But one thing they have in common is, they all have some sort of tumbling action, either horizontally like this, or sometimes they flip end over end, and all you do is, feed the compost into the tumbler and make sure it gets a little water, tumble it to air it, and then remove the compost when it's finished. Next we are going to be talking about how you compost with worms.