The Earth Machine

Master Gardener explains composting
Master Gardener explains composting

Saturday morning I attended a 1-hour composting workshop taught by the University of Florida, Miami-Dade County Extension. They gave me and each of the 50 participants a free composter: The Earth Machine. The plastic bin is only 33” high by 33” wide, so it can fit unobtrusively into most yards.

If you don’t know what compost is… it is the decomposition of organic waste such as food and/or plant material by microbes, worms & other organisms. The end result is humus, a rich material that you can use to fertilize your plants or enrich the soil. (Not to be confused with Hummus!)  It’s very easy to make compost. They suggest that you use 1 part GREENS to 3 parts BROWNS, though this is not a definitive rule. GREENS can be cooked/uncooked fruits & vegetables, breads & grains, coffee grounds & filters, and grass clippings. BROWNS are sawdust, hay & straw, wood fireplace ashes, yard trimmings (leaves, twigs), used potting soil, wood chips, shredded newspaper, eggshells and nut shells. As you fill the bin with your waste material, you should keep it moist and mix it up every now and then. In 4 to 6 months you will have a batch of rich compost.

Things that should NOT be put in the compost bin are aluminum and other metals; glass; meat, dairy and other animal products; yard trimmings treated w/chemical pesticides; and seeds. For more information on upcoming workshops and how to get a free composter if you live in Miami-Dade, you can go to Miami-Dade/UF Extension

© 2015 Beatriz Portela and Excerpts and links may be used and are encouraged, provided that full and clear credit is given to Beatriz Portela and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Any other use and/or duplication of this written material & picture(s) is prohibited without written permission from Beatriz Portela.

11 thoughts on “The Earth Machine

  1. I have one, exactly the same as pictured. However, the compost attracted moles to my yard, and tore up my lawn. Sadly, I had to stop composting. 😕 The bin is still sitting at the corner of my backyard. If anyone has any ideas about how to prevent it from happening, please let me know. I hate to throw all those good stuff into the thrash.

    Liked by 1 person

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