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Homemade Compost Tumbler - Violated!

Homemade Compost TumblerYou'd think that someone who does a blog about composting would have the perfect composting system but I don't. As you can see in the picture some sort of critter (probably a raccoon) was able to rip through one of the screen covered air holes on my homemade compost tumbler and have a snack.

A well maintained compost pile should have no odor. I tell people that all the time. I have added that sentence to many of my posts. I wouldn't be surprised if my wife told me that I repeat it over and over while I sleep. Well I should pay more attention to myself.

You see, I added a ton of kitchen scraps to the pile over the weekend including eggs shells and green onion scraps. Now if I took my own advice I would have added more leaves to the bin at the same time and maintained the proper green:brown ratio. But I didn't. I didn't even roll the can around to mix the ingredients. I don't know why I didn't get to it. I was probably busy making green onion quiche or something.

After cleaning up the mess (and I'm lucky that it's a pretty small mess) I covered up the busted air hole and added about six inches of shredded leaves to the can. Then I gave it a good blast of water from the hose and rolled it around to mix it. The tumbler doesn't smell anymore and I've learned my lesson.

If you live in bear country or just don't want to worry about pests at all then I suggest sticking to mostly leaves and coffee grinds. You'll still get a nice compost and it shouldn't attract any attention from four legged friends.

5 Comments:

  1. Chiot's Run said...
    I don't mind when they get in the pile. I figure they're aerating it for me and saving me some work.
    mostlygardening said...
    OH NO! I was so inspired by your original story that I made a couple of those myself
    ~but now it has come to light that the design has not been sufficiently field tested and there may be some flaws, apparently. How unfortunate. I just keep mine outside the back door and fill it every day with kitchen scraps. Have not even rolled it yet. I guess I better get some shredded leaves and get rolling asap before I too get some unwanted visitors!
    Anthony said...
    CR,
    I keep this can close to my house for convenience during winter weather. If it was out in my yard I wouldn't mind either.

    mostlygardening,
    That's funny, I was just reading your blog earlier today. Thanks for the link.

    I think the design is sound and that it was more of an operator error that occurred. :)

    Get some leaves and make sure the can is not stinky and you should remain visitor-free. Happy composting.
    Mark said...
    My in-laws tried to do some kitchen scrap composting out in Sussex County and gave up because of bears. Raccoons can be dealt with but I have no idea how to bear-proof a compost bin. If you have a particularly annoying pest it might be fun to unleash a motion control sprinkler like the Scarecrow.
    janasmama said...
    I love this idea so much that I had to share it with my readers at Lite Green Living. I also liked your point of view on the hoop house and not having PVC near your veggies.

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