Making compost in your kitchen

Test 1: Status - abandoned
Test 2: Status - running

The tests
The purpose of this test is to see if it is possible to have a non-smelling compost in your kitchen.
It is ment for people who live in apartments without a garden, and for people who wants to make compost during the winter (a compost works very slow in frost).
The best (and maybe only) way to make a non-smelling compost with a minimum of work (no turning), is making a worm compost. The only thing you have to do is add foodscraps regularly, and to empty the bin when it is full. It could be a good idea to have two bins in some sort of a rotation system.
The most difficult thing is to control the moisture level. If it gets to high, the compost will starts to smell very easy, and in worst case the worms will drown. If it gets to low, the worms will die (they need moisture to breath.

Test 1: The bin used is an about 10 litre big tall an quite narrow bin. A small handfull of worms was added.
After about 4 weeks the compost started to smell quite badly. The bin was emptied, to get all excess moisture out, and to add a bit of oxygen into the obviuos anaerobic proces. No worms were seen, so they might have drowned. The material was replaced in the bin.
About two weeks later the compost was smelling again. The bin was emptied, and test 1 abandoned.
Conclusion: To much moisture in the compost is fatal. Most of the moisture probaply came from a teapot. The pot was rinsed with a bit of water after each use, to get all the tealeaves washed out. This water with leaves was added to the compost each time, and that was just to much moisture for such a small compost. This water will not be added to the compost in future tests, but will be used for watering flowers instead.

Test 2: This time bigger amount of worms was added.
This time I tried to keep the moisture level as low as possible. It worked fine, until till some small flies started to lay their eggs in the bin. They hatched very quickly, and the apartment was full of small flies for the rest of the summer. Beacuse of the neighbours, I had to abandon further experiments this summer (2000).


E-mail: permagro@permakultur.dk
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