Friday, February 19, 2016

Gardeners' Gold and Weird Women

Well, I did it! I finally decided on a composter! I'm so excited! 

Ok, so I might be a little weird - sorry! That's just me! 

But let's face it - compost is a huge part of organic gardening - us gardeners call it "Gardeners' Gold" for a reason!

It's very simple - feed the soil, not the plant. If you feed the soil, the soil will nourish the plants. 

Via
The magic lies in compost. When we compost our garden waste and kitchen scraps into rich, dark 'gold' for the garden we put back into the soil what the plants take out of it. 

Synthetic fertilizers do not feed the soil. If anything, they leach the nutrients out of the soil leaving the soil worse off than before you added it. You give the plant itself a quick blast of food but you are killing off the biology of the soil. All the added chemicals and salts in synthetic fertilizers are poisoning our bodies via our waterways and our land. 

I started gardening organically many years ago. I honestly can't remember the last time I bought a container of Miracle Gro - it must be 20 years ago. 

I do buy liquid fertilizers to nourish my container gardens and give my plants an extra boost but they are all natural and organic. 

Big Bloom at Amazon

It's great to have a liquid organic food on hand to give the plants a little extra nourishment every now and again. 

I also have turned to the Vermont Compost Company for help with re-balancing the nutrients in the soil in my containers. 
Vermont Compost Plus at Gardeners Supply
This stuff is great - I add a bit to any containers that don't get dumped at the end of the season and it perks the soil right up! It's been a huge help these past few years when I was renting and didn't have a composter. 

But here's where the magic is going to happen from now on:

www.Envirocycle.Com
Meet my new friend. Isn't he gorgeous?

I told you about all the composters I was considering in this post.  Funny enough, this was not one of the ones on my radar at all! That was, until Pamela from Brooklyn Farm Girl left a comment telling me about this composter that she has had for years. 

I looked it up and I was intrigued! The only problem was, it didn't have two chambers. 

I nearly bought another one, one of the ones on my list, but I kept reading reviews and there were a number of things folks mentioned that were really bothering me. 
Yimby Tumbling Composter
1. Difficulty to put it together - ummm, no thank you. 
2. Flimsy materials, would probably not last more than a few years. 
3. Wasps and other flying insects getting into the vent holes. Again, no thank you!
4. Stinky stuff leaking out. 
5. The size of the openings for dumping in waste were too small. 
6. Difficult to turn when loaded up
7. Would not be able to move it easily once it's in place

I kept going back to the Envirocycle. The reviews were amazing, pretty much 5 star across the board. And folks raved about the company's customer service. 

This unit was more expensive than the other one I was looking at but if it's going to last many, many years and the company will stand behind it that makes it more than worth the extra money. 

I decided to purchase one now...and another one in the future. This way I can have two chambers, just like I really wanted. That means one side can be full and 'cooking' while the other side is being used and added to regularly. 

Well.....it arrived within days and sat in my garage for a bit while I waited for a halfway decent day to set it up. 


I set it up last night after work...and I'm delighted with it!

Setup took less than 5 minutes. The unit is most definitely light enough for me to handle on my own. 

Here it is on the corner of my patio next to the veggie garden. Exactly where I thought it should go. 

It's close enough to the kitchen door to make dumping my little kitchen compost bin easy peasy. We like easy peasy!


If I can smell it at all in the summer months it will be simple enough to move it to a different location away from the house, and then move it back for winter. 

I fed it the first bucket of kitchen scraps plus a bucket of dried leaves....heaven knows there are plenty around that need to be picked up!


I love that the opening is nice and large for dumping in waste. And the latch is easy enough to open even with frozen fingers like I had last night!

The unit is in two pieces - the top round part and then the base. 
www.Envirocycle.com
Another plus? The base not only has rollers so turning the top part to mix and aerate the contents is so simple....but it also collects the compost 'tea' in the base! There's a spout with a twist on cap that you unscrew to pour out the 'tea' when it gets full. That will take the place of me having to order liquid plant food online - that means this unit will pay for itself in a couple of seasons!


Pure genius, I tell you. 

See how weird I am? What other woman gets this excited about compost?

















25 comments:

  1. Well as much as you cook, you should be feeding it lots of scraps. I notice there are big gaps in some of your posts between stuff. When you write your post, you need to hit Backspace till you're close to the bottom and can see that you're at the bottom. That's why you have the gaps.
    Brenda

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    1. Thanks, Brenda - yes, sometimes those gaps get the better of me!

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  2. "What other woman gets this excited about compost?" I do! I've marked this post to come back to when I can give it the time it deserves -- I'm in the market for a composter.

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    1. I love that you're a weirdo like me!! :) Thanks for visiting, Jean!!

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  3. I can't say I get excited about compost but I am intrigued! I have always thought I'd want to do it but I don't even have a spot for a garden :-(

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    1. I had container gardens in my last two rentals...I grew everything - tomatoes, peppers, herbs, roses, clematis, you name it!! Anything and everything!

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  4. I would dearly love one of those....not too big and , like you said, who wants flimsy. This is a great idea. Blessings, xoxo, Susie

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    1. I'm super excited that I have the first layers in the composter already, Susie! I hated dumping my compost bin onto a pile at the edge of the woods - but I wanted to do my homework and really order the right unit. I'm so pleased with my choice!!

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  5. Yes Deb, you are weird, but that's why we love you and besides, normal is overrated. And don't worry, I get pumped up about compost too. ;)

    XXX

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  6. Yes Deb, you are weird, but that's why we love you and besides, normal is overrated. And don't worry, I get pumped up about compost too. ;)

    XXX

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    1. Tee hee, thanks, Doreen! Glad I'm not the only weirdo around!! xoxo

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  7. Glad you got your composter and are happy about it! We've had a tall standing one for years - but that's my hubby's "baby". I don't have anything to do with it. All I can tell you is that I truly appreciate the beautiful dirt for all my plant containers in the spring. You are right - it's liquid gold. We never have any odor from our composter, so I hope you find the same holds true for you.

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    1. I hope so as well....but if there is a bit of an odor I can easily move this one to the somewhere else on the property. I love it close to the kitchen door for winter, though! My last composter at a prior home I put way across the property near my shed....and it was awful traipsing through deep snow to dump the kitchen bin!

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  8. Glad that she left that comment referring you to this one! :)

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  9. Glad that she left that comment referring you to this one! :)

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  10. I get excited about old kitchen appliances and gadgets that no one wants, so who's the weird one? LOL

    That composter looks much easier to deal with than the compost pile I have. I might need to look into getting one of those.

    By the way, I had the best time catching up with you. The way you write about your life makes me feel all cozy and welcome. I'm so glad we "met". :)

    hugs to you,
    rue

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    1. Awww, Rue, you're such a sweetie! I'm just catching up on comments now after a busy, busy weekend - I love that I've 'met' so many amazing people through this little blog of mine!! xo

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  11. We compost too. Our first one was on a metal frame like you showed and it was horrible. Hard to turn and when it was not full the wind blew it over. We have one that sits on the ground and I just go out there and with a pitch fork and turn in once a week. I garden organic in our raised bed. Cannot wait gardening this year.

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    1. Nice, Betty!! When does your gardening season start? I need to sit down and compile my seed order real soon!!

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    2. Our last frost is in early May and that is when I put my things out in the garden.

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  12. That sure beats the pile where we've tossed stuff for 25 years! At least it's a favorite spot for our hens! You are really organized now!

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    1. I'm getting there....but I'll need a second one very soon - I'm filling this one up rather quickly and I haven't even started clearing out some of the remaining garden beds that need raking and cutting back!

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  13. We have 3 compost methods here on the farm. 1. The Goats 2. A black plastic thing 3. The best I've ever used...three pallets screwed together .... dump the scraps on top and $1 bag of manure and then wet and turn once every 6 months.

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    1. How long does it take to break down your #3 favorite compost pile, Valerie? I'm curious....

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