Category Archives: General

Compost Tea!

In just over two weeks, I have collected nearly a gallon of compost leachate from my compost tumbler.  Pretty awesome, just look at my excitement.  Some people have been asking me what compost tea is… well, don’t drink it!

Simply put, it’s the best organic and natural fertilizer you could use on your garden.  You can take care of an entire acre with only 5 gallons of the stuff, which is great.  To dilute it, I recommend 10 parts water to one part compost tea.  If it smells really bad, chances are it’s past its prime and not the best for use.  If you leave it outside in a bucket, you can hope to make aerobic, but ultimately you will need a small air pump to infuse air into the stuff and make it properly potent.

If you’d like to see an in-depth video for this, I always recommend the Dirt Doctor, Howard Garrett:

https://youtube.com/devicesupport

Have fun with it, and let me know how it goes…send me pictures!

How to Build a Worm Bin In Under 15 Minutes (video)

How To Build A Worm Composting Bin In Under 15 Minutes

Woohoo!  I just made a new worm bin. I’m going to go ahead and call it a “Bentley Bin”, which I named after Bentley Christie of http://www.redwormcomposting.com . He’s the true master of vermicomposting, and I highly recommend checking him out to learn everything there is to know about worms.

Hit the Like button for the video and leave a comment for me!

I’ll be posting updates once I get my worms, which should be in about a week.

Juicer waste update

I checked out the tumbler today, WOW.  Just shy of 100 degrees, full of bugs and smells delicious.  I might make a follow-up video tomorrow.

Today my mom was in town, so we were talking about composting and fixing up my yard a bit.  She hauled away a bunch of the brush you can see in the background of all my videos, and was surprised that I gifted her a kitchen compost crock. It ends up that she’s helping coordinate a gardening event in the spring, and so we strategized about how to collect all the event’s compostable material and market the effort to the group.  It rules being able to talk trash with my mom.

Speaking of talking trash, I filmed a video today about what to do with scrap plastic that can’t be recycled, like shrink wrap, plastic bags, packaging.  I decided to sew it up into a pillow…yep!  Click HERE to check it out…

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, and send me pictures of your compost!

How to Turn Compost with The Compost Tumbler (video)

Turning Compost with the Compost Tumbler

I like this guy.  I’m glad he shows the tumbler with a lot of material in it, and how it isn’t super easy to spin no matter how you do it.  But it sure beats using a pitchfork to aerate the stuff.

This appears to be the old model without the extra ventilation slots and the additional cut-outs where you can add your compost thermometer.  If you were going to get this one, I would look for the newer version.

Either way, go Dave.  Nice work on the video!

my belated birthday present…

Today, I woke up in the morning and peeked out in the backyard… there was a big yellow kitty litter bucket.  I don’t have cats, so this could only mean one thing… juicer waste!  My compost tumbler was pretty dead at the moment as I don’t have much in the way of food scraps…but this should fire it right up.  I took the temperature before I put in the scraps: 70 degrees.

Let’s see what happens!

Sun Chips Bag to Lose Its Crunch (article)

By SUZANNE VRANICA

Frito-Lay, the snack giant owned by PepsiCo Inc., says it is pulling most of the biodegradable packaging it uses for its Sun Chips snacks, following an outcry from consumers who complained the new bags were too noisy.

Touted by Frito-Lay as 100% compostable, the packaging, made from biodegradable plant material, began hitting store shelves in January. Sales of the multigrain snack have since tumbled.

PepsiCo has been working on trying to find a quieter version of the packaging since it first introduced the new bags.

Frito-Lay is returning to its old, nondegradable packaging, for five of the six Sun Chips flavors. It will continue to use the noisy packaging for its Sun Chips Original brand. It has been working on trying to find a quieter version of the packaging since it first introduced the new bags. A process that is continuing.

“We chose to respond to the consumer feedback but still want to show that we are committed” to compostable packaging, says Chris Kuechenmeister, a spokesman for Frito-Lay.

Consumers have posted videos on the Web poking fun at the new bags and lodged fierce complaints on social-networking sites. Since January, year-on-year sales of Sun Chips have decreased each month, according to SymphonyIRI, a Chicago market-research firm that tracks sales at retailers. SymphonyIRI data exclude Wal-Mart Stores Inc. PepsiCo doesn’t break out sales figures for Sun Chips.

The uproar about the new packaging was the subject of a Page One story in The Wall Street Journal in August.

This isn’t the first time PepsiCo has had an issue with its packaging. Last year, the company dumped new packaging for its Tropicana orange juice after consumers complained they didn’t like the new look.

Frito-Lay declined to disclose how much it spent to create the biodegradable packaging but it has been working on finding and testing degradable material for several years.

Just after I spend all that time to find one of these bags and put it to the test in my compost tumbler, they go ahead and pull it off the shelf.  Are people really upset with the bag being louder?  Let’s be honest, their drop in sales is because their chips taste like crap.  Who actually eats Sun Chips?

It’s really unfortunate that a company loses millions of dollars by trying to be innovative with their packaging.  They should try doing an advertisement where everyone in the commercial can’t hear each other because the bag is too loud, or have kids in a classroom make noise with the bag whenever the teacher tries to talk.

Well, let’s hope for a quieter future with compostable plastics for a louder composting revolution.

Oprah Loves Composting…

http://www.ecorazzi.com/2008/06/19/oprahs-earth-day-compost-bin-can-now-be-yours/

I realize I’m super late, I only just found this article.  Now I’m not an Oprah follower, but I understand why most people like her.  I’ve only seen parts of her show just a few times, and she’s very likable.  However, Oprah doesn’t seem likeable to composting.  Come on, Oprah…can you just fake it a little better so millions more people will really do it?  Man, I wish I had the influence that Oprah did.

I also highly recommend checking out the link to Daryl Hannah’s $900 worm bin.  She’s right, it is super sexy.

Looking for loads of green material to compost? Here’s a tip…

In the last week, my compost pile has been near dead as a doornail as I haven’t had much food scraps.  I’ve been lazy lately, eating a lot of takeout and going to restaurants instead of making my own food.  I think it’s the pre-winter blues already kicking in as I put my coat on today for the first time of the year (other than January 1st, nerd).

I was thinking about it a bit, as I went out partying all last night till the sun came up.  There happened to be a little snack bar at the venue, because we know that partying, dancing and eating health food go hand in hand.  They had two huge juicers, just churning out the waste that I so needed.  I asked the two ladies if they could contribute their food scraps from tonight to my compost… “Of course!” was the response.

So there you have it.  If you’re looking for food scraps to get your pile hot and bothered for the colder months, go to a juice bar and hit them up for their remnants.  You might even get a free juice out of it for putting their waste to good use, who knows?

The Genius of Jean Pain (article)

http://www.motherearthnews.com/Organic-Gardening/1980-03-01/The-Genius-of-Jean-Pain.aspx

This guy is the master of thermal composting. You may have heard of him already; but if not, then get in the know.  Extremely inspiring work.  The difference here is that most people don’t have tons (literally) of material to work with for thermal compost.  From utilizing tons of underbrush that he shreds to a specific size of 1″ x 1/16″ slivers, he is able to heat his own water and collect methane to power his house and car.

I highly doubt this guy leaves his work unattended, but I can’t help but think of what the local authorities think about him and his fire risk to the local woodlands!

Why Use Or Make Compost Tea? (article)

We all know that compost is a wonderful material especially those that practice organic gardening. What could be better than compost? Well how about compost tea. When you begin with good quality compost you will end up with a complete solution of nutrients and bacteria for all your gardening feeds.

Compost tea helps:

  • keep diseases off the plant with the many bacteria that it has.
  • Provide an abundance of food needed for good growth.
  • Destroy any toxins that hurt the plant.
  • Improve the flavor and taste of vegetables.
  • Produce more vibrant flowers.

So why not give this tea a try either by buying it or brewing it yourself. You can now in many good nurseries buy this tea or start brewing the tea yourself.

The results will amaze you, so get started!

The good bacteria that is available in the tea will compete for the plants food. Hunt out the bad critters and eat them up. Helps make the antibiotics to prevent those bad critters. And scare the bad varmints so they don’t attack your plants.

Compost tea that is made in an accurate manner has a abundance of microorganisms which will help your plants growth and overall health as well as the soil that the microorganisms live in. It can be regarded as the yogurt for the soil. The organisms living in the soil are both bad and good. What the tea does is make sure the good guys win By bringing in useful protozoa, bacteria, beneficial nematodes and fungi the tea shows it is the hero needed to save the soil.

When you have good air circulation the bad bacteria cannot live in the soil. But good bacteria will thrive in soil that is well vented with air. Produced the right way this is when compost tea races in. If you have well aerated compost solution you have gotten relieve from of three-quarters of the harmful varmints.

When you use toxic insecticides or chemical fertilizers we quash the amount of beneficial microorganisms in the soil.

Mainly plants make their own vigorous activity and food and one-half of that is delivered to the roots and much of that breaks down into the bordering soil and have you ever wondered who receives that? Right, the goody-goody guys, and then it changes into a beneficial repetition.

Compost tea is made by many different recipes using compost as a beginning substance and making a liquid solution obtained by steeping or soaking a substance. Today, there are many different ways to make a homemade brewery or you can buy in nurseries or online to make your tea. With the advancing technology changing everyday there are bigger and better efforts to better costs and efficiency.

In addition, there are likely as many formulas for compost tea as there are for recipes for chili in Tennessee, with better plans on improvements and a concentration on its utilization for more specialized applications. For example, if you are making compost tea to fight plant pathogens, the inclination is to have as much microbial variety as feasible. While you are brewing the tea many gardeners are adding supplements to the mix like additional bacteria and fungi.

Expecting the best about compost tea is high, but realizing its limitations and having down-to-earth expectations are essential. One comes to mind is when to use this concoction and that is almost immediately after brewing. Since you are presenting live organisms you want them to be alive when application is done.

An excellent reason for making compost tea is to transport microbial mass of living matter, fine organic matter, and soluble chemical elements of compost into an aqueous stage that can be put on soils and plant surfaces in ways not accomplishable or economically possible with regular compost.                         -James Ellison