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Thread: Anyone sell drum style compost bins in Alaska?

  1. #1
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    Default Anyone sell drum style compost bins in Alaska?

    I have seen some big rotating drum composters on TV and in magazines but have never seen one up here.
    Here in Homer it does not get very warm except where I have my garden (I am up at 1,000 ft msl) So I was thinking about a drum style compost tank if I could find one....

    Has anyone seen any for sale up here?????
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  2. #2
    Member Ak Bird Brain's Avatar
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    Never seen a new one for sale here. I have seen a few used ones for sale on Craigslist.
    Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day,
    Teach a man to fish and he'll also learn to drink, lie, and avoid the honey do list.

  3. #3
    Premium Member denalihunter's Avatar
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    Alaska Battery Systems (ABS Alaska) sells them http://www.absak.com/ or at least they did last year. They have a store in Fairbanks and Anchorage. I was going to pick one up from them last year, and can't remember why I didn't....probably forgot till now, so thanks for the reminder.
    Experience Real Alaska! www.alpinecreeklodge.com

  4. #4
    Member Grayling Slayer's Avatar
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    I have seen them at Home Depot for a couple hundred dollars.
    "I'd rather be fishing!"

  5. #5
    Member mudbuddy's Avatar
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    For what it's worth.
    Several of us have tried the drum compost bins with little success. I never was able to get it to get cooking (hot) & make compost.
    It was more me & part the Alaska cool temps. I never figured out the system I guess.

    Rule of thumb for compost is a minimum of 3' X 3' X 3' & the drum type, IMO, is to small.
    It takes a full year for me to get "done compost" with my bins. (August to August).
    I went with the simple pallet bin & have had great success

    If you get one & have success, please post the techniques used. I tried for 3 years & gave up.

    My opinion of them is now is "It's just marketing hype". Several other garden forums have post about the drum composters & I've yet to read any that were happy with them. Just my opinion after a few years of trying one.

    Don't let my opinion stop you from trying onw, you may have the right conditions & techniques to make it work.
    BUT I have doubts

  6. #6
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    Maybe an old 300-500 gallon tank mounted on a bracket would work because of the increased amount of materials. Over the last couple of years I tried metal trash cans which were painted dull black and left out in the sun.... They did not really work all that well.
    I also tried big rings (Tubes really) of fencing wire 6 feet tall and 6 feet in diameter which I filled with old grass, chicken, duck, moose and hare manure. I made three of them and filled them up 5 years ago... They all look the same to this very day.
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
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  7. #7
    Member mudbuddy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Float Pilot View Post
    I also tried big rings (Tubes really) of fencing wire 6 feet tall and 6 feet in diameter which I filled with old grass, chicken, duck, moose and hare manure. I made three of them and filled them up 5 years ago... They all look the same to this very day.
    I'm betting you have some "good done compost" in there
    3 possible problems:
    1. may be too much grass, but in 5 years, the piles should have some awesome compost in the bottom & center.
    2. You didn't mixed every 2 months or so, not enough air. I use air pipes to get air through the piles/bins.
    3. too much "greens", allot of grass usually means it is real wet, the air pipes or mixing helps & not enough browns (manures are greens) Fall birch leaves mixed in is what I use for the browns.

    Still, in 5 years, Mother Nature will make compost from it, just slower if the conditions (brown/green ratio, moisture & air ) aren't balanced.

  8. #8

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    I have two 80 gallon BLACK tumbler composters, place in full sun, fill it, turn it once a day done in 30 to 40 days they work great.
    Mine have an air tube in them, I chop all the marerials with the mower, smaller the material the faster it breaks down.
    Now Lowes does not sell them or I would get a couple more.
    Alaska Mill and Feed sell some but they are not like mine and I have not tried that style.

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