Photos - finished compost

Finished compost made by composting clean kitchen/garden waste in a tire(3 tires) tower.

The preceding section tells how to do this simple process. These photos show the remarkable result.

Here is a quick summary of important facts:

1. The 3-tire tower sits on the edge of a gravel driveway.

2.The following material is added in no particular order or amount...clean kitchen waste (excluding meat, bones, dairy) and garden waste (excluding woody material and particularly unfriendly weeds).

3. Roughy a quart of water is added, usually when I add the scraps.

4. We use the tower year around.

5. Generally speaking, you can 'harvest' a tire tower in the early (late April/early May) spring and again in the late (mid to late October) fall.

Photo 1 - a handful of black gold! The finished material is generally of a fine consistency and odor free. It looks and feels like fine black soil. Items (the occasional eggshell of something similar) that are not totally biodegraded should be left in the material. It will become food for myriad microorganisms. This material can be: mixed with potting soil, used as a topdressing around food plants or cultivated into the soil. It is totally organic and should have plenty of worms, pill bugs, millipeds and tiny insects in it. (This is good - what you want.)

Photo 2 - the garden cart containing the 'harvest' from two tire towers.

The garden cart is 3'x4'x1' and the harvest from 2 tire towers filled it to 3/4. (You do the math!!) This cost nothing, used waste material from the garden and kitchen and took about 7 months from start to harvest.

Photo 3 - the tire towers.

It is important to have three tires that are the same size. It is important to have a level base. Know that the rotting/action by bacteria, fungi, and insects will occur in the middle (empty space) of the tire and also inside the tire rim itself.

Photo 4 - Material ready for the garden.

Our family of two which eats as much fresh food as possible plus the organic waste from the gardens can keep 9 (nine) tire towers active.

By choosing to compost in this simple manner we reduce the amount of waste we put into the landfill, we USE that material to fertilize our gardens, we reduce the amount of money we could spend for potting soil, fertilizer and mulch. The least space it takes is the area of the stack of tires. We use our towers as insulation along the wall of the greenhouse/potting shed.


Summer Food in Wintry February


16 Popular Foods You Didn’t Know You Could Freeze

1. Garlic – You can freeze whole garlic, garlic cloves or chopped fresh garlic. Frozen garlic does lose some of its texture, but the flavor remains intact.

2. Corn – You can freeze fresh-picked corn on the cob for up to one year. Pack it in freezer bags — husk and silk and all. For store-bought corn, husk and blanch it before freezing.

3. Avocados – The bad news is that frozen avocados lose their consistency. The good news is that they do not lose their taste, so you can use them for guacamole or dressing. Wash and halve them before peeling. Freeze as halves, or puree them with lime or lemon juice and then store for up to eight months.

4. Mushrooms — You can freeze raw button, creminis and portabellas mushrooms for later use. Chop and slice mushrooms and then spread them on a cookie sheet. Freeze. Then transfer the pieces to bags or containers.

5. Onion – You can save chopping time – and tears – by freezing onion for cooking later. Store peeled, chopped onion in plastic freezer bags. The best part is you can just toss them into your recipes without thawing them first.

6. Hummus – Scoop your fresh hummus into plastic containers. Then drizzle a thin layer of olive oil on the top to keep it from drying out. Thaw in the refrigerator for 24 hours before mixing and serving.

more such winter gardening from Off the Grid News