Our neighbor, that lives behind us, has a garden to be envied. It THRIVES. In fact, a few years ago, I was given six thorn-less blackberry bushes. I kept and planted three, and gave three to the neighbor. One of mine died right away. The other two survived, but didn’t produce much fruit at all until this year. Mine now cover about a three foot length of my fence… My neighbors blackberry buses now cover about a ten foot length of his fence.
One day, I spied him out in the yard, and asked him why his bushes were faring so much better than mine. He pointed to his compost barrel and explained that he drains the liquid off of it into a bucket, then distributes the “black gold” to his plants. Genius. Pure genius.
As we started preparing for our spring raised garden beds, I knew I had to get a compost barrel. I want MY plants to thrive. I looked all over, and couldn’t find one I liked. I asked around on Facebook, and a friend pointed me to Plow & Hearth. Plow & Hearth has a little bit of everything that falls into the home and lifestyle products categories. Including a sa-weet rotary composter that I HAD to have. The neighbor advised that I would appreciate a rotary composter because it is less work to keep it turned.
When the rotary composter came in, I asked Hubs to put it together. I am not mechanically inclined. He’s an engineer. Perfect. First he read the instructions. Then he grabbed the laptop, to look up the instructional videos, and set to work.
Within about an hour, we had a beautiful rotary composter. As Hubs was putting it together, he remarked, “Whoever designed this knew what they were doing.” That, from him, is saying something. There are a lot of pieces. After reading some of the reviews on the site, I know I was intimidated. Hubs said there was no reason to be intimidated because, if you follow the instructions, the composter goes together easily enough.
After we carried it out to the backyard, I realized I forgot to get compost starter. A quick trip to the local hardware store, and I had compost starter. YEAH! We started composting right away as I had flower garden trimmings as well as kitchen scraps to toss in. It’s been a lot of fun teaching the kids about composting. Mister LOVES to be the one to take kitchen scraps out to the compost now.
I wet my compost down, usually at least every other day if not every day. It’s been so hot around here that it dries out quickly, and of course it needs moisture to break down all the stuff we put in there. It amazes me how much less goes into our trashcan than before we started composting.
This composter is quality. It rotates easily (unless I overfill on the water, then it’s a bit heavy). The tubular steel frame is sturdy, and the black plastic body of the barrel is durable. The side vents are nice, as well.
The only thing I would change is that it has drain holes on either side on the bottom that are not optional and not pluggable. I understand the rationale for the drain holes. If your compost is too wet, yada yada yada. I would prefer a plug type drain, though, for several reasons. First, it can get messy rotating the barrel when there is liquid in it. Second, the drain holes allow my “black gold” liquid to drain out. I know they are supposed to drain it. But that’s black gold. BLACK GOLD, I tell ya! As evidenced by the fresh crop of weeds in my otherwise barren yard.
It’s easily fixed, though, by placing a bucket under the side of the barrel. The runoff drains into the bucket, and my black gold is saved. YEAH. My plants are going to be SO happy! All in all, I would (and have) definitely recommend the rotary composter to anyone interested in composting.
Now, I just need a small compost bucket for the kitchen, so I don’t have to take scraps out three times a day. LOL.
I like the stainless steel one carried by Plow & Hearth, too. It would go great in our new kitchen.
Plow & Hearth would like to give one lucky TBC reader a $50 Gift Certificate, so you can check out the quality of their products as well. Get a jumpstart on the giveaway by following Plow & Hearth on Facebook, Plow & Hearth on Twitter and Plow & Hearth on Pinterest.
***Product sample received to facilitate review. All opinions, as always, are my own.***