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Don't know how much it is, but you can buy a Compost Tumbler, basically a steel drum with a nice big opening that sits on some sort of rack by calling 800-880-2345. It doesn't look electric. Hours are 8 to 5 EST on that 800 number.

Offered by John.

I came up with and idea for making an easy composter; take a garbage can with a tight fitting lid, put your composting material in it, put the lid on and lay it on it's side, give it a roll every couple of days in a couple of weeks you have compost. Keep it moist, like a damp sponge, and warm. You don't want it to get too hot or it will kill the microorganisms that break down your organic matter. It help to turn the material to keep oxygen in the material for the microorganisms. My large compost pile that I keep behind the house I just pile it up and let it go, but it takes longer for it to break down, months instead of weeks, but it will get there. I guess that's one reason I started playing with smaller composters to speed up the process. I don't usually add worms to my compost because they usually find their way there; but adding them should help. I guess you could put a hand full in when you put in you organic material.

Offered by Mike G.

Here is a North Dakota site that might help some folks who would like to know more about composting and healthier gardens and soil. Only 31% of landfill material is composed of plastic containers, the rest is metal, glass, and paper and organic things like eggshells, banana peels, and coffee grounds. If your compost pile smells like ammonia add more brown things like shredded leaves, wood chips, sawdust, or shredded newspaper and aerate. If your compost pile smells like rotten eggs add dry coarse materials such as leaves, cornstalks, or straw to soak up excess moisture. Protect the pile from rain. The recipe for compost is rock pieces, dead things (plants/animals), water, air, and living things (worms/bugs/things you can't see). Mix the rock pieces with other things on the list, leave the mix outside for 1,000 years or compost!

Offered by Kristy.

The decay business can be used for our benefit. Right now, the best source I know of are the books on organic gardening and composting. Absolutely anything (say for example dead bodies which we will probably be finding without any effort) can be composted, which uses the bacteria already contained within the organism to generate heat and speed along the decay rate. You can collect old newspapers and use them between layers of material to be composted and they, too, will compost nicely. Instead of putrefaction, the end result is basically a flaky brown garden soil additive which aerates (encouraging root growth), has every kind of nutrient, and recycles everything you have left over (like egg shells, last year's dead corn plants, etc.) for minimal waste.

Offered by Jenny.

Well, not everything can be composted. Putting animal material of any kind into the compost heap is not a good idea. Besides the obvious problem of rodents and other vermin invading the heap, you have the danger of microbial infestation. Any diseases or parasitic infestations present will stay present in your food supply. Your waste products of non plant origin need to be purified before use as a fertilizer (especially those end result waste products like urine.).

Also, not all plant material should be composted. Woody plant material (high in cellulose) requires a huge amount of nitrogen to break down. This means there would be a need to put a nitrogen source on the heap (like purified urine) to get the corn stalks to break down into the brown flaky material Jenny describes. Of course some woody material is good (I use a small portion of shredded newspaper in my compost to help retain moisture), but you would do better if you let that stuff dry out and burned it for heat. Then the ashes could be scattered over your soil directly - no composting needed. Also, if you plan to maintain some domestic animals for any reason (food, leather, pets, etc.) and they can eat plant material (like cattle) then you could feed them the straw from your wheat. Alas, if you're growing mushrooms, you might want to incorporate the tough woody waste into your growing box anyway (but not your compost pile unless you want mushrooms in your garden, too).

Offered by Roger.