Tuesday, January 05, 2010

The Compo-Matic

One of problems we have with composting everything that we can is that its hard to get the action happening in subzero temperatures. Basically we were storing blocks of ice until it warms up. We decided to move the composting process downstairs to the relative warmth of the basement. Jo-Ann has been using a kitchen food processor to slice and dice the compost material. The idea is that it will compost faster. I got that tidbit from my Uncle Rick - a master gardener, who used a mulcher to reduce his garden waste of easily compostable bits. However the food processor is loud, doesn't handle the volume of compost material we produce, and it's a pain to clean it up after every use.

And having guacamole from the same machine as the compost is kind of, well, unappealing.

So on one of our walks the idea of the Compo-Matic was born. Basically it's a household garburator that empties into twenty liter plastic buckets. Quiet, fast, and it grinds everything into an easily compostable meal. As in ground grain, not something to enjoy at the table.

But what it produces adds magic to the Garden and what comes out of that is definitely table material. It's nice not to have to store the pre compost peelings etc - it just goes in the Compo-matic as it's produced. Efficiency par excellence.

We took a stainless steel bowl, that had a glass cover. Cut a hole in the bottom of it and cut a hole in the top of a plastic bucket.


The garburator mounts on the underside of the bucket and we extended the outlet pipe so that it fits through another lid mounted on the bottom of the bucket. Son in law Kevin's Brainiac modification.

Let's see Part A goes with Part B. Hmmmm. Stupid instructions...

Of course the foreman had her own ideas about how to decipher the instructions:


This keeps the garburator out of any compost and we just change the bottom bucket as required. 2o litres is a lot of compost. We empty the bottom pail into another bucket, layering it with soil, leaves etc.

We painted the bucket a nice green. Which seemed appropriate. I added a switched outlet to the kitchen island to plug the behemoth grindulator in.



Jo-Ann uses an old wooden spoon to jam the material down the spout into the Jaws of the Compomatic. If it's really dry she adds a bit of water. But with most wet stuff it's not necessary.


A lid goes on the bottom bucket after it's full and replaced with an empty bucket. It keep the Katz away and it goes into a nice warm part of the basement.

I expected that there might be a smell involved. There isn't. From what I have read, as long as it is composting correctly it doesn't smell. Hopefully we will have plenty of compost to get those early veggies sprouting under grow lamps. Ready for the Re-Tired garden come the earliest opportunity. Probably mid March.

Keep in mind this is only the prototype. The final, hand built by Endako Craftsmen, version will be available to cutting edge composteers for a very reasonable gazillion dollars. Or you could cobble together your own I suppose. Easy to follow plans with photos are available. Let's say two gazillion dollaronies.

On another note:

We discovered a new breakfast sensation: fried turkey sausage with shreddies. MMM the breakfast of champions..

Hope your daily grind is an easy one..

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

We’re very busy, could we borrow your Foreman for the next two months. Wishing you a great 2010. NK

Art Blomquist said...

I can just imagine how busy you guys are with all the 2010 stuff going on. Just remember there is life after 2010. Come on up for a visit- I'll demonstrate.

Donna OShaughnessy said...

Your dedication to composting is so admirable Art ! We just recycle our our bedding and manure from the cows, pigs and horses into our garden but I still feel guilty every time I throw away some carrot peelings.