Archive for February, 2011

Soil Analysis

Posted: February 21, 2011 in Uncategorized

An important question about this composting unit is the quality of compost it is making and for what application it is intended for. So I took a sample of the final product (after letting it stabilize outside in a bin for 24 days) to a local testing lab. I told them the end use was intended for a community veggie garden. This is their response:

“Typical of most home compost solutions, the macro-nutrients are high while I would rate the micro-nutrients as being low. While I can appreciate the future for this compost being an incorporated additive for a mineral soil, currently deficient in fertility and organic matter, the excess of macro-nutrients and water-soluble salts will all be reduced from their compost alone status.”

I am not entirely sure how to interpret the last part of the sentence, but speaking with the lab over the phone it sounded like all I had to do was add some iron powder, mix it with a particular type of sand at a 1:1 volume ratio, and it was good to spread on the veggie garden. I guess the proof will be the cucumbers next year.

Mixing blade breakage

Posted: February 2, 2011 in Uncategorized

Note: On request from the manufacturer, I have changed the original title of this post to more accurately reflect the nature of the failure of the composting unit I experienced – a mixing blade broke, but the unit made compost right up to that point. The manufacturer also suggested that too many avocado pits may have caused the blade to break – so it is my negligence that caused it to break. I was also asked to mention that the unit was promptly replaced (as I noted originally in the post) and the new unit is working well and making compost, and that I was generously given the unit for free for product testing purposes – if I did not make that clear enough in the first post (see Let the Testing Begin). I also removed any colourful, subjective adjectives like “concrete”. I also stress that this is a standard consumer product review of my experience and that other consumer’s experiences, of course, may differ. Please be sure to review the comments section after this post to read the response from the director of the company.

Original Post:
Well, unfortunately the condo-sized composter broke itself after 4 months. I opened the lid one day to find a warning light flashing and one of the mixing arms sheared off – which is no small feat considering it is a 10 mm diameter stainless steel rod.


Sheared-off Mixing Blade

After investigation I found that the compost at the bottom of the unit was hard and I had to chip it apart with a screwdriver to empty the unit. I am guessing that if you do not put anything in the composter for a week or so, and the unit goes into energy save mode, the combination of moisture and heat may compact the compost. The unit was replaced by the manufacturer but I think some design changes are required – like maybe the blades should turn at least once every hour to mix the compost, so it does not harden.