Saturday, February 21, 2015

Composting in a snoasis


One is a bowl of salad for the humans. One is a bowl of salad and vegetable scraps for the composter.

Can you tell the difference?

Vince chose the wrong bowl to put on the table for dinner.

The composter: 20 days, yesterday, since assembly and its first meal

For the first three days I gave it the recommended hot water bottle, changing it every 12 hours.

1 February 2015

Then I said, This is enough. It's like having an invalid on the terrace. So I stopped (the instructions in the manual suggested "a couple of days").

My compost is frozen.

20 February 2015

We could not have foreseen the blast of the Siberian Express, delivering record cold, but I do believe the Swedish composter maker's winter composting assurances border on sins of omission. "With its superior insulation, the Jora composter will continue working through winter, long after other composters have stopped completely..."

An Amazon reviewer is more accurate (Wyoming): "In the winter, pretty soon you have two large lumps of icy garbage."

"Continue working," is key. It implies that composting has already begun, so the interior temperatures inside will already be high. But that does not explain away the hot water bottle instructions for the start of a first batch.


Many of life's disappointments hinge on unfulfilled and unreasonable expectations. More realistic wording in a product's literature is the difference between good and bad PR. There is nothing wrong with this contraption. But the manufacturer creates a problem with a misleading assurance. Just delete the whole hot water bottle thing. Please. We'll pretend it never happened.


Because it doesn't really matter. This is still the best, admittedly high end solution for a small terrace like ours. It is filling steadily, a little meal every evening, and one day the world will thaw (well...maybe) and it will start to cook. Once the first chamber is full they say six weeks till compost. Meanwhile the second chamber fills. Optimistically, I'll have usable compost in mid to late April.


Right now snow is dropping from a white sky and in the bedroom I sit in bed with two space heaters raising the room's usual 50'F to 60. It feels cozy. Our blood has adapted. Outside the flakes have fattened from a fine mist and we are promised another accumulation. We are also fattening, deprived of exercise and roaming.

The birds eat seed in the falling snow but I have not seen the doves for two weeks. I hope they have not, like my compost, frozen.

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