Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A simple home-made composter

Be a pro-sumer (consumer AND producer) - make yer own dang composter.

Every situation is unique...One design that interested me lately is...can't remember the name but it's something you can improvise - It's a container of whatever size and material you want with an open bottom which is set into the ground deep enough so that the larger critters like rats and woodchucks won't likely get attracted. The soil under and around the bottom of the composter serves to absorb the waste and the little critters like worms and molds and bacteria in the soil serve to distribute the nutrients to the garden area nearby. The top of this composter has a lid, so - unlike most composters which have openings on the sides to allow air to get in and smell to get out - this type is only open to the air when you open the lid. You could make one (or more for other parts of the garden) by just e.g. taking a wide piece of pipe (say at least half a foot diameter or whatever you have available) and just sticking it into the ground i'd say at least six inches.

If you want to fool with teas, the thing I'm interested in is exposing water with some nutrients (e.g. a little dirt or manure or compost) to sun and so encourage algae...Problem is mosquitoes lay eggs on the surface and within 5 days can go from larvae in the water to hatching out into the air. So either the water needs to be used before the mosquitoes hatch out or you need any kind of fish in the water that eats the eggs and larvae. An extremely simple ecosystem can be set up by having fish, snails, and anacharis (a fast growing submerged type plant). The water and muck from the bottom and any dead or live matter in the water ecosystem can both fertilize and water the garden - fertigation...And the variety of life helps to biodegrade any chemical pollutants that are in the water.

Stop by if ever you've time and are near Hazelwood for a little tour of our gardening efforts.

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