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Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Tumbleweed Compost Tumbler

I haven't bought leafy greens in 2 weeks. The garden produces enough now for the family. I've also accumulated a fair bit of garden and kitchen scraps. Garden clippings, carrot peels, onion skins, wilted roses, leftover almond meal... and all such like. So, I bought a compost tumbler to compost all my scraps. Only plant material can be added. No meat nor dairy nor plastics etc... or there will be nasty rotting smells.

The bin tumbles the material within. We have to turn it 3 times a week to introduce air for aerobic bacteria to break down the plant material.  If there is not enough air and anaerobic bacteria take over, the bin will smell bad too. You can see the ventilation holes in the side of the bin.

Dehydrated kitchen and garden scraps accumulated over the last week. The dry material traps air in between each piece and allows aerobic bacteria to breathe. One should have 2 parts dry material to 1 part wet material. Wet material refers to fresh carrot peels, pineapple peels and other vegetable odds and ends. Just get them straight from the kitchen sink and pop them into the bin. Then turn.

Since this was the first batch, I also needed to add in garden soil bacteria. So, there you go! A generous layer of soil.

Drying the kitchen scraps in the dehydrator. It took some time to order and get in the compost bin and I needed a way to store the scraps without them smelling like garbage. So, I dried them and stored them in garbage bags.

This machine takes care of all our meat and dairy scraps and it doubles up as a cuddle toy. Now, if I can only figure out how to re-purpose poop, we would really be a zero waste household.

With this addition, this household has become even more environmentally friendly. We now have solar panels, a water recycling system, a steam mop/vacuum (that means we can clean without chemicals) and ovitraps (that means we do not need pesticides for mosquito control). I am quite inspired by the video below, where, near the end, the couple showcases their gray and black water treatment systems.


Malar said...

Wow! You're going really green Petunia! I have the machine to take care of the meats too! It's so adorable!

Theanne Crossett said...

Dear Petunia Lee, I believe it's been years since I've been by to visit you. And as usual you're doing wonderful things with your life, working toward household self-sufficiency...fantastic! Are you still writing educational books, does your son still write? How are your parents? I've tried to figure out ways to compost but Baron (the dachshund) and I just don't produce enough vegetable, fruit scraps to make the concept work (don't have to worry about meat scraps as I no longer eat meat). Perhaps a worm farm is what I need...the worm castings would certainly make the soil in my yard better. Sandy soil with very little actual soil. It always amazes me that plants actually grow here. Hope all is well with you and Singapore, Theanne

Petunia Lee said...

Hi... good to see you here again! Your grand daughter looks so cute! The Son no longer writes. He builds machines instead. We are well and still enjoying your painting!

Theanne Crossett said...

Hello, I still maintain my blog on Google and I was thinking of you and wondering how you were. How excellent that your son builds machines...does he blog about his building? So happy about the painting, I still have your mother's artistic work in my bedroom. I was very lucky to have found the perfect frame for it at a thrift store. Your tomato plant is beautiful!

Petunia Lee said...

Thank you!

Petunia Lee said...

Malar! LOL!