Trying to Compost
Jun 14, 2009 (Updated Nov 5, 2010)
Review by nagels
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Easy assembly and set up.
Cons:Doesn't make instant compost.
The Bottom Line:
The E-Compster provides an easy and inexpensive way for a beginner to try his/her hand at composting.
With naïve, neophyte zeal I made the request, and with her usual considerate celerity, Dawn fulfilled it. I filled in the SAP form before I had removed even one staple from the attached cardboard wrapping, before I had even put it together, before I had even given a thought to its assembly, and worst of all, before I knew what the hell I was doing.
Recommend this product?
For two months now I've been filling it with greens and browns, with skins of apples, scraps from salads, leaves of oak, and leaves of grass. It's filled with a veritable Whitman's Sampler of clippings, peelings, and cuttings. The pile has grown with the days of spring, tended to, and stared at. I do a lot of staring, hoping that somehow those hopeful looks might speed the process. But now the procrastination period is over. It's time to write a review on my E-Composter from Garden Views.
The E - Composter
31.1 by 31.1 x31.1 according to the product literature, but the top opening seems narrower than the bottom. Its stated capacity is 120 gallons. This researcher hasn't personally verified that figure.
The composter itself, as if to set a good example, is constructed from 90% recycled materials. Its "unique sidewall locking system" claims to insure product durability. I've only had it assembled about five weeks, but it's still standing and is looking durable.
A base is included with the composter so that everything put into the composter stays in there until taken out.
Directions and information are provided in five languages.
Made in Israel by ketter plastic ltd.
Adventures of a Casual Composter
At our previous house we inherited an enormous pile of leaves that had turned into compost, or black gold. I kept adding to the pile over the years while subtracting the good stuff from the bottom of the open heap. This worked well.
Fast forward to 2009 at Spud Acres. Five years ago I got a free composter from the county. This free composter is basically just a large perforated piece of black flexibility that one forms into a circle and bolts together. After five years of deposits, I opened up the circle and found what looked mostly I had put into it. Peanut shells on the bottom looked like the peanut shells I'd put in there way back when. Some composting had occurred on the bottom but not much. Maybe I shouldn't have been so casual.
In BJ's I saw a display for E -Composters for a good price and bought one. The attached product sheet displays a vivid, colorful photo of an assembled composter filled to the brim with vegetative scraps. Out of the bottom opening is flowing a river of dark, rich compost. This is for me!
Assembly - An icon on the front indicates that assembly should take five minutes with no tools required. Assembly took me considerably more than five minutes despite the nine step illustrated directions annotated in five languages. I opted to use the English directions, though I mostly just looked at the pictures. Just allow yourself plenty of room when putting the pieces together, some of which are large, and pay more attention to the written directions than this writer did.
The finished product looks exactly as pictured and though quite light is a little awkward to carry. Either have a helper assist in transporting the composter or build it near its chosen home.
Two bottom inserts can be removed from the composter to extract finished compost or to use as hand tools to lift stuff intended for composting. These two hand rakes might be good gathering instruments, but I've never used them for such a task.
At this point my composter is about 75% filled with kitchen, garden, and yard scraps. There's a flip cover for an opening on the lid through which one can insert a hose for wetting the pile. Since my composter is so far removed from the hose, I just lift the lid and pour in water when I think of it. A couple times I actually used the hose, which was much easier and more efficient.
There are vents on all sides of the composter and at all levels so it's easy to see if anything is happening in there. Unfortunately not much has changed for this composter except for a great amount of compaction. Maybe I'm not keeping the pile wet enough, maybe it's too early, or maybe I shouldn't have thrown in all those plastic flowers. (Just kidding about the flowers.)
I like this composter. It's compact, and I feel like I'm doing something worthwhile. There's probably a way to get this batch of future compost cooking sooner than later. Maybe I just don't have a black thumb.
I know I don't have a green one.
Thank you, Dawn.
UPDATe - Since buying this composter I've also purchased a barrel type composter that can be turned like a cement mixer. This second type works much better and faster than the stationary E-compster. Also it's hard to turn the contents of the composter featured in this review. I've learned that keeping the compost mixture moist and turned helps tremendously.
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