I just got done sifting some of my compost and I want to show you what I used to do this.
I have a tumbling composter. This is an insulated one that can get to some pretty high temperatures without needing a large volume of compost, compared to conventional pile techniques. This is something that can work really great in an urban area you really don’t have much space. Maybe you have a decent budget but you just don’t have the room to do a large three foot by three pile. This is a Joraform JK270 composter or it’s also called more recently a Jora 70. So this is two chambers and I’ll give you a quick overview of this. But I want to talk specifically about how this has been working out for me since it’s coming up on two years that I’ve owned it. Has the insulative foam completely broken down? Is the thing collapsing? I’m going to let you see. I’m also going to show you the quality of the compost that I got from this and I’ll let you know what type of person is going to benefit the most from this composting technique as opposed to using some other technique to be able to process all organic waste.
Taking a better look at this Joraform tumbler, after nearly two years it’s been holding up very well. I don’t see any structural issues. No bowing or buckling. No caving in on itself. Even though every day I come in and I spin this thing and I’ve been constantly using it this entire time. I’ve never cleaned it. I’ve never wiped it since having purchased it. And, on the underside of it there is some messy drippings that you’re going to get. So expect that. If you actually clean and wipe it up you can keep it looking nice. But I wanted you to see what happens after a couple years of using this. I have it up against this wall here. And as you spin it, that force can propel some of the liquids up against the wall. So think about that if you are doing something like what I’m doing. Maybe you might want to have something behind there to get rid of any splashing issues. This is going to be dripping periodically. That’s a normal thing. And in fact when it’s getting really hot you might find that it’s doing that a lot. And that’s great. It’s cookin’. But I have this on concrete slab so I had to put something underneath to catch those drippings. And just some upside down lids from some totes have done the job. But this will splash. So if you have this around there expect that you can have some things that are getting splashed on the edges from that too.
Just another thing to be aware of. But why don’t I open this up and I’ll be able to show you how it’s looking inside and how the foam, that insulation, has been holding up. If you haven’t seen what the inside of one of these looks like before, you have a layer of foam in the middle of the two chambers and then on the sides each of these chambers holds about 35 gallons of material. And once you fill up the one side you can then move on to the other side. I just got done emptying this one out. And if we look in here we’ve got all those different materials some are fresh. Some are long since broken down. On the sides you have a little ventilation hole that allows for air to get in there. That way this doesn’t go septic or anaerobic in its processes. But rather it stays nicely aerated. Oxygen is in there. And you have the best process for breaking down this waste. Yes it’s definitely messy overtime. But the foam itself has held up very well. Even though we’ve gotten probably around160 degrees, I never had any type of receding that has occurred. So even though this will cook, the foam itself hasn’t cooked away. And structurally everything i think is still pretty sound and I’m happy with how it’s been holding up. I’ll show you the system that I am using to be able to get my compost when it’s actually finished, and it’s time to get that stuff and start using it.
What I’m doing I open up just one of the hatches for one of the lids and underneath I have a 30 gallon tote. Then with the lid open,I just have to go like this and out comes my compost. It’s actually worked pretty well for me. If you have one of those special wheel barrels that are short and fit underneath, you can use one of those and that’s great. I just don’t have one of those and I think that using one of these totes fits the bill. With the compost being completely finished we have a really nice consistency here. It’s taken me a little bit of trial and error to figure out a good balance of the carbons and the nitrogens, you know, the browns and greens. But I think I have it working pretty well. I’ll get some clumps sometimes but it’s not bad and we do have a lot of loose particles in here that you can sift and use that sifted compost for things like seed starting and whatever else.
I want to show you here, this is what I just got done doing. Here I have a five gallon bucket of the larger particles that I’m not going to use for things like seed starting, but I’ll put in the ground and it’s gonna work great. And then this is the finer stuff. So look at the consistency with this. Very nice. Good texture. Its not quite to the point of where you’d have with like worm castings. But still I’ve got almost five gallons of this. So, all in all, I got about 10 gallons out of this one chamber. And that one chamber cooked down actually from two chambers, that were combined into one. And then over the course of several months, which included the winter, (when it was really cold). But over that time period we went from probably more than 35 gallons of organic matter. Could have been forty, fifty gallons. And now we’re down to around ten gallons. That’s the finished product. So I look forward to being able to use this. And one last thing that I want to show you.
What I used to actually sift this stuff. You can get these screens these sieves that you can insert a couple of different size size options of the mesh that you can put in there, the screen. And just put it into a container. Pour the stuff in there. Shake it. Shift it. You know. And then you can separate it and use it as you desire. So do I recommend this composting unit? I absolutely do. As long as you’re in a situation that really merits making that investment. If you look at the prices online different tumbling units are going to cost you at least a little bit of money. Easily, you can spend $100. But when you talk about the Joraform,you’re actually getting into several hundred dollars. And that can be pretty pricey. If you’re gardening on a budget, this probably isn’t for you. But if you have a reasonable budget and you’re looking at a long-term goal of being able to process as much organic material as possible. Including disease material. Things that are full of weeds. You want to be sure that you can get a super high temperature. That way you’ve completely eliminated those pathogens and the compost that you produce is healthy and ready to go in your garden.
Well, a tumbling unit like this can really fit the bill especially when you don’t have much space. This has a very small footprint and I just have it here inside of my uninsulated garage. And I’m able to use it year round. Now, it’s possible that you could use this maybe in a basement. But after having a couple years to mess around with this and seeing how, you know,you’ll get some bugs. You’ll get like little flies and things. I really wouldn’t use this inside of my house, even if it’s just in the basement of a house. I probably would not recommend anybody do that. But inside of an adjacent structure it should be fine. And of course, you can use it outside and it’s going to hold up pretty well because of the excellent powder coating that this has. So that shouldn’t be an issue. But if you have two, three, five, ten, a hundred acres of land why on earth would you get one of these? Just go ahead and make big piles. You probably have a lot more organic matter that you can work with that you can collect to do composting. But in addition to being able to make a large pile outside, if you have the space for it (which of course costs you nothing) you could also look into vermicomposting as a way to, on a small scale, process your organic waste. But at the same time it’s not going to have the big investment upfront that one of these things has. That’s actually how I started out doing my composting processes.
By doing vermicomposting using red worms that I’ve been able to set up in a box that I keep outside and keep the worms outdoors,year-round. But they survived every winter here in western Pennsylvania. It’s pretty cool. But those systems have limits. And in that situation that’s where this kicks in. So I’m using, in tandem, two processes: Doing hot composting with the tumbler. Doing vermicomposting with red wigglers. And this is working great for me. The key is for you to find a solution that fits your situation,your circumstances, what you’re looking to accomplish. So that you can continue to process organic waste rather than throwing that out. You can keep all of those nutrients on-site cycling reusing them in your garden. That is a key to sustainable gardening and sustainable living. Reducing the amount of inputs that you need to bring into your property. This is a tool that will help you to achieve that. And I definitely recommend for those people that are limited on space, but have a reasonable budget. I recommend that they give this a try. If you’re going to get any tumbler, this should be the one that I would get. Save up. Spend the one that costs a little bit more, but it’s going to give you the best performance and hold up the best over time.
Well after a couple of years now I can really speak about what I think about this. And I am very happy. I have no buyer’s remorse over purchasing this. I’ll have the link below on Amazon, if you want to see where I got it from. But regardless I hope this video was able to help you. Thanks for taking the time to watch it. And as always: Happy Gardening! This is the highest that I’ve ever even seen this. And it’s on a day when it’s 33 degrees inside of my garage. So, yeah that’s pretty cool.