By Barbara Kessler
Manufacturers have pounced on the composting trend, giving you, the consumer, many choices for how you want to recycle your kitchen and garden waste. Here are a few:
- This Tumbleweed Compost Bin was Member Tested and Recommended by the National Home Gardening Club, according to Clean Air Gardening, an online store that sells a large array of composters. We figure, what do we know? But the National Home Gardening Club, now there’s a group that probably analyzes composters carefully. Apparently the Tumbleweed is engineered to still rotate easily when full and heavy. Tumbling action being essential to building compost quickly, this seems like a big plus. The unit also has an internal rod that facilitates the mixing action. The legs don’t look too bracing, but the store blurb promises they won’t rust. $189.99 at Clean Air Gardening.
- The Urban Composter is a similar tumbler, but it’s made from recycled plastic food barrels. Maybe it’s the hint of flannel plaid it the picture, but this composter just looks sturdy. It also costs a bit more than the gardener’s pick, but the recycled plastic piqued our green antenna. Green Culture, the online store selling the Urban Composter, describes it as “an aerobic bacteria’s dream” because it contains a “patented center aeration tub with a cross bar” that helps speed decomposition but also keeps the compost from “turning into a ball and just sliding back and forth.” So be warned novice composters, clumping is probably something to watch for. $229 at Green Culture
- Talk about style. This modular unit may be a smaller composter, but not by much (it produces about 7 cubic feet of compost compared with 7 to 8 cubic feet for the Tumbleweed) and it you can picture it blending in on the patio. Even better, it has a special trick: It makes and stores up to five gallons of compost tea whilst doing its work. The Envirocycle Composter sold by Greenfeet, rolls and mixers the compost, then lets the juices flow into the base below where they are kept air tight (and presumably less odorous). Gardeners love compost tea as a foliar treatment because it helps keep their plants strong and resistant to disease. A home composter also can save that $10-plus for a gallon of “tea” at the local nursery. Hey, this composting could pay for itself! This drum and base of the Envirocycle are made of #2 plastic, which is recyclable. We’d expect at least this much from Greenfeet, a purveyor of eco-sensitive products since 1997. $139.95 at Greenfeet
- Want to dip your toes into home organic waste recapture, but aren’t ready to make a big investment? This E-Z Compost Bin sold by Amazon.com is the base model and will do the job. But you see that pitch fork? This is more of a muscle builder. The advantages include its low cost and portability. You can make, turn and produce compost right on the ground, then move the bin elsewhere, spread the aged compost and start again. $29.99 at Amazon.com
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