Round and Round

That is how my compost will be going, or at least a small portion of my compost.

My new compost tumbler arrived Thursday. (I finally bit the bullet and bought one, as the ones I'd had offered to me free were either damaged or had been put together so oddly that they needed parts replaced.) Noel and I assembled it in the dining room, and this morning I dragged it out back and filled it up.

Here it is, empty. The lid weighs more than the plain bottom, so it hangs upside-down when empty. Which is not how it will ever be in this garden. It is a very big tumbler, almost five feet tall when upright. I figured I would need the capacity.

Compost tumbler, with dog for scale

Inside, there is an aerating core and two rods crossing the barrel that will help mix and break up material.

Inside the composter

The girls were curious about what I was doing with that pitchfork near their beloved compost piles.

Chickens watching the compost tumbler

It took me a few minutes to fill the bin to the top, mixing the older, dry stuff with a good supply of dried chicken poop, fresh weeds, and chunks of sod. Then I sprinkled it with some water and gave it a good spin. In theory I could have finished compost from this in three weeks.

Filled compost tumbler

In other news, we have a lot of quinces. If it's not obvious from this photo how big those suckers are, but they're about five inches in diameter. If you were under the tree at the wrong time you could be killed by one of these things. We've got one friend who wants some, and I'm thinking maybe I'll try making a quince sorbet this year.

Quince harvest

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posted by ayse on 09/20/08


Nice! I've always wanted one of those tumbling composters. I left a prodigious compost pile at my old house that probably would've turned into something quite nice, had I turned it regularly. The new place has a "compost corner" for now. Not very aesthetic.

The most amazing thing to me is that despite this being easily one of the largest tumblers available, the amount of stuff it takes hardly made a dent in the massive compost pile in the chicken yard. And then I went out weeding this morning and ended up with even more stuff in the compost. I'm definitely not going to have any trouble keeping it filled.

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