Composting is one of the best things you can do for your homestead. It is a great way to both recycle and create free fertilizer for your garden. Using a compost barrel tumbler is just one of the excellent ways you can make healthy, free, compost. There are lots of ways to compost. Here are three ways you can compost:
- vermicomposting (a great way to make compost quickly using mostly kitchen scraps. Vermicomposting also makes very good composting tea)
- Composting with an underground composting bin (helps keep critters out of your compost and holds the temperature well)
- Using a compost barrel tumbler (this is another great way to keep critters out of your compost and to create compost fast, more on that in this post!)
Lot's of ways to compost, but they are all great. Ultimately, it is up to you. I tend to use a couple of different ways and I would love to add a third. Each composting method has it's own set of pros and cons and using a combination of different composting methods guarantees you can recycle your scraps in the quickest, most efficient, way possible.
There is a giveaway for a compost barrel tumbler at the end of this post, be sure to enter!
Using a Compost Barrel Tumbler: Features
Using a compost barrel tumbler is a great way to compost because it is the only method that virtually guarantees that nothing will get into your compost bin. There is usually a locking mechanism on the barrel itself, plus it is raised off of the ground (which makes it harder for critters to get in).
You can find some other features on a compost barrel tumbler that are really nice to have
- Dual Chambers: Using a compost barrel tumbler with a dual chamber is especially nice because you can fill one chamber while the other is curing. (Curing is the time it takes compost to fully break down. The length of time that it needs depends on the type of compost and how hot the temperature is). This is a great dual chamber compost barrel tumbler that is only around $100.
- Rotation: Being able to rotate the compost is one of the greatest things about using a compost barrel tumbler. Rotating (or turning) the compost helps aerate it, which ultimately gets you faster compost. Rotating the bin is a simple, quick way to aerate your compost.
- Insulation: Using a compost barrel tumbler with insulation is perfect for cooler climates. The reason the underground compost bin works so well is because the ground helps insulate it. Temperature is one of the most important factors when creating compost and the insulation will help keep that temperature at a good level.
- Material and Elevation: Compost barrel tumblers can be made of many different things, from plastic to stainless steel. They are often times elevated off of the ground though. Using a compost barrel tumbler that is elevated off of the ground means that you will have fewer (if any) critters to deal with. Elevation make it hard for them to reach and the protection of the barrel itself pretty much seals the deal. No critters = no big mess.
- Odors: Compost can create odors. That said, if your compost is really stinky then you probably have an imbalance in the items you are putting in or it is not being turned enough. Anaerobic (no oxygen) conditions causes most odors. Anaerobic conditions are usually caused by too much water, too many “greens”, or it not being turned enough. The chance of these conditions occurring in a compost barrel tumbler are greatly reduced. Plus, even the normal compost smells are reduced since the composter itself is a closed environment.
Using a Compost Barrel Tumbler: Tips
Just like any composting method, there are tricks to the trade. If you use perfect ratios, you will get compost from using a compost barrel tumbler in about 6-8 weeks. I highly recommend using the correct ratios for a compost barrel simply because it is easier to get fast compost that way (and that is the nice thing about being able to tumble it). If you throw things together into an underground or chicken wire bin then the speed does not matter as much (to me at least). A benefit of a compost barrel tumbler is that speed so use it to your full advantage.
So what are those correct compost ratios? Check out my post on composting facts and ratios to see details, but in a nutshell you should use equal amounts of “browns” (dead leaves, branches, twigs) and “greens” (grass, food waste, coffee grounds, manure). Also make sure it stays moist and throw in about 10% old compost or just some soil to get it started up. Alternate the layers to get it started. Tumble when needed.
Here are a few things that should definitely not be included in your compost bin!
Fill one side with compostable material then start tumbling it while you fill the other. When the other side is full empty the first side and start filling it. If you get a rotation going you will have compost about once a month this way.
One of the advantages of using a compost barrel tumbler was that it was elevated and it will come into play again here. You can park your wheelbarrow right under the tumbler and fill it with compost. Ta da… compost ready to go in your wheelbarrow and an empty side ready to be filled with more compostable material.
Using a Compost Barrel Tumbler: Giveaway
The Prepared Bloggers are at it again, bringing you a fantastic chance to win a fabulous prize!
This week we're giving you a chance to win this Jora Drum-style composter, valued at $319.00! You can view more details about the composter HERE at Eartheasy.com.
Eartheasy has graciously provided this compost er as a prize so that YOU can get a jump start on your gardening this season by using a compost barrel tumbler! The Jora JK125 composter features a rodent-proof, rust-free, galvanized steel exterior, an insulated interior which makes it great for all climate types, and the ease of rotating your compost style with a twist of the drum to aerate your compost mixture quickly and easily. This particular composter holds 4.5 cubic feet (or 33 gallons) of compost material, and has dual chambers so you can use some and add more to a new pile as you go!
Meet the Bloggers Involved
- The Busy B Homemaker
- Homestead Lady
- Little Blog on the Homestead
- Game & Garden
- Pioneering Today
- Fabulous Farm Girl
- Living Life in Rural Iowa
- Blue Yonder Farms
- Frugal Mama and the Sprout
- Home Ready Home
- Pasture Deficit Disorder
- The Rural Economist
- The Prepper Journal
- Food Storage and Survival
- Simply Living Simply
- Pint Size Farm
- Prepared Housewives
- Preparedness Mama
- Beyond Off Grid
- Ready Nutrition
Terms and Conditions
This using a compost barrel tumbler Jora JK125 Composter Giveaway is sponsored by Eartheasy.com, and is open to any resident who is 18 years of age or older who lives in one of the 48 US Contiguous States. This giveaway starts on Sunday, March 8th at 6:00 am (CST) and ends on Saturday, March 14th, 2014 at 11:59pm (CST). The winner will be notified by email and will have 24 hours to respond. If we do not hear back from said winner in the designated time period of 24 hours we will choose another winner and they will have 24 hours to respond from the time the notification email is sent. Please check your SPAM email folders. Good luck to everyone!