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Building a Compost Turner

On the weekend I posted a video featuring a cool home made compost tumbler. As it turns out, there is another excellent YouTube video featuring a do it yourself tumbler – but this one gets into much more detail, essentially providing you with the full plans for how to build one in your backyard.

The creators of the video are known as the ‘Urban Homesteaders’ and they have a number of other quality videos. Here is a blurb from their YouTube homepage:

The Urban Homesteaders live in Rochester, New York, in an area called The South Wedge.
They love the earth. They love their family. They love their neighborhood.
Most days, you can find them at home, trying to dream up solutions to life’s problems. Ocasionally you’ll catch one hugging a tree in Highland park, with their chocolate lab, Veruca, nearby.

Some may wonder why I haven’t written much about compost tumblers here thus far. Truth be told, I’ve actually been pretty skeptical when it comes to this type of composting system. To me they just seemed like over-hyped, overly-expensive toys that didn’t really do anything extra special to enhance the composting process.

I’m still definitely skeptical re: some of the claims (like being able to make compost in days rather than months), but I’m starting to come around. I know from firsthand experience (university research study) that large scale in-vessel, rotating systems can indeed speed up composting times over regular static systems, but I also know that the material I produced in two weeks was NOT finished compost (it was certainly on it’s way to getting there though).

Anyway… 😉

As mentioned in the other compost tumbler video post, I’d love to have a smaller tumbler where I can put wastes designated for my various worm composting systems. Not only would it be a handy temporary storage container, but it would also (obviously) be a great way to mix everything up really well.

Some may wonder if you could actually put worms in a compost tumbler. This isn’t something I would recommend, unless of course you don’t plan on turning it at all (haha). The activities of the worms helps to mix and aerate the materials in a vermicomposting system, thus no manual turning or mixing is required. Aside from this, worms don’t really appreciate being tossed around all that much!
😆

I may actually try to put together my own compost turning system this summer – just need to find myself a mini barrel. Either way, I’ll certainly be writing more about compost tumblers in general in coming weeks and months!

[tags]compost tumbler, compost tumblers, compost turner, compost barrel, compost spinner, composter, compost bin, worm composting, worm bin, diy, do it yourself[/tags]

Written by Compost Guy on April 29th, 2008 with 5 comments.
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5 comments

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Get your own gravatar by visiting gravatar.com NewAlchemyGuy
#1. April 30th, 2008, at 11:20 AM.

Excellent well produced video.
I’m extremely frugal, some would say cheap, it doesn’t get any cheaper or easier than this….

http://www.thecompostbin.com/2008/03/compost-tumbler.html

🙂

Get your own gravatar by visiting gravatar.com Compost Guy
#2. April 30th, 2008, at 2:30 PM.

Thanks for reminding me about that one! I knew there was another cool DIY compost tumbler design out there, but couldn’t remember where I saw it.
8)

Get your own gravatar by visiting gravatar.com Adam
#3. May 8th, 2011, at 3:56 PM.

I appreciate this video. I was planning on getting a 55-gallon drum (from the local pepsi bottling plant), and making a tumbler. The one I envisioned was much more complex and unnecessary. Glad I found your plans before I got started.

Any tips on making the lid more useful (won’t be screw on like yours)?

Get your own gravatar by visiting gravatar.com Debra Lloyd
#4. March 8th, 2012, at 10:00 PM.

I’m on to this big time….I garden 6 -4×4’x16″ raised( local cedar) beds and various raised ground beds for flowers and herbs….Like to top up everything from my huge compost pile in the spring….but mucking around never proves as successful as I’d like…This way I can pitch fork in an amount and give it some whorls with earth…things recess every spring too…..

Got my friend onto aluminum pipe….
I’ll pour the cement etc…..so excited…

I’m a 62 year old retired chef and loving gardener….

Get your own gravatar by visiting gravatar.com Jim
#5. January 25th, 2013, at 9:00 AM.

The idea of the tumbler is great–I’m not sure of it accelerating the composting process to a rapid phase, but the value of the mixing, in particular, and the physical breaking down aspects (due to weight and movement) would be valuable.

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