Composting Made Fast & Easy with an Insulated Compost Tumbler

Alright! This is John Kohler with
! I have another exciting episode for you. And this is going to be a fun one. What you
guys are looking at now is my compost alley in HD. This is another video in HD. I don’t
want to guys’ hopes up, you know, I will have a lot of videos still not in HD. Sometimes,
whenever possible, I’ll try to film these videos in HD so you guys could get the, ‘the
real McCoy’. Anyways. This is my compost alley. As you could see kind of behind my
garden in the back yard. And, you know, I grow a lot of food in the back yard, and you
know growing you food is probably the most important thing you can do to increase the
health of yourself and the health of the planet at large. But besides that, think about the
health of your plants. What can you do for the health of your plants?
Well, the number one thing that you can do for the health of your plants is to make your
own compost, you know. Depending on where you live in the country, you may be able to
get, you know, really poor quality compost. It may be alright, average compost, or really
good compost. Unfortunately, it’s been far and few in between that I find place where
I could go in the country and find, you know, a high quality compost that you could buy
for affordably. Most of the time, high quality compost costs a lot of money, man, it’s
just out there in the sky and, you know, many of you guys can’t afford it. So the best
thing you can do with some extra space you have, and I would encourage you guys to use
the most non-desirable space, you know. For growing, this is shaded alley here and not
too good for growing, but I could produce the compost. It’s going to go in my raised
beds in the sunny area to make my plants even happier and have them grow really well. You know, compost is the key, organic matter
is the key, the humus is the key to growing healthy plants, besides the rock dust of course.
And, you know, most places may not have the highest quality soil. You might have a sandy
soil, you might have a clay soil. And there may not be a lot of organic matter in the
soil unless you’re out in the middle of a forest, in which case your gold and you
don’t have to watch this episode. But for the rest of us that are in residential lots
or maybe have, you know, a depleted acreage that’s been, you know, strip farmed for
years, you know, this is definitely the video for you. We want to create a good compost, and that’s
why I have this whole section dedicated to making my own compost. Now, you know, today
what I’m going to specifically talk about is actually making compost in a tumbling compost
bin. Why do I recommend this? Well, for the average person that has no experience composting
and for the homeowner that lives in a residential area that, you know, can’t have rats and
bugs and all this kind of stuff in their compost, this, this is why I am using this. In addition,
depending on where you live, the weather, the climate, can be a condition. And, you
know, a standard compost pile is great and I like those a lot in the right situation.
In this personal situation, we’re in the residential neighborhood, can’t attract
rats, can’t attract the rodents, can’t attract the bugs because the neighbors would
get upset. And also, you know, it can’t be smelling too bad. And in addition, you
know, it’s really dry here. So the climate here is really hot and it’s an arid climate,
not too humid. And piles tend to, you know, all the moisture comes off of it. So, you
know, you don’t have the quite moisture, the right moisture level in your pile. With
this method in the tumbling composters, I have found just adding the volume of food
scraps that I produce with their high moisture content is enough to keep the pile wet enough
to work optimally. So I don’t have to add an external input of water, which is also,
can be a hard thing to come by in the desert here. So that’s why I am using this particular
system. You know, I recommend any way you can compost is a good way. This is the way
I’m doing it in this particular environment. Now if I had a farm and had 50 acres, would
I be using these things? You know, I might have one for fun but probably not, I’d be
having windrows and you know pallet piles and all kinds of other cool stuff. But once
again, this is for people, dedicated to people in a residential area that don’t have a
lot of space. Maybe even in an apartment complex you could do one of these because it’s just
going to keep it nice and simple, keep everything contained. Plus based on my experience, you
know, the tumblers work significantly faster. This is specially true if you’re not experienced.
Now if you’re an experienced composter, you know, you could make a pile and you guys
could kick ass at it. But I’m not an experienced composter by any means. I’m a pretty good
gardener. My composting skills I’m still building on. And one of the things I want
to say is that, you know, using the tumbling composter, the one that I’m specifically
going to recommend in a little bit, has really, you know, got me excited about composting.
You know I used to compost and like oh the stuff’s rotted, it’s really not working
that good and stuff. And, you know, I’d be like oh but I got to do it, you know, you’re
supposed to compost and it’s good for the environment, all this stuff. And it was cool
and I was happy. But now with the brand new composter that I am using, you know, it really
kicks some butt. What we’re going to do today is go over
the different composters that I have. We got the Lifetime 80 gallon composter. Picked this
guy up about 50 bucks on clearance at Costco. It was normally selling for about a 100. At
the present time they have a 250 gallon set right now. So it’s a 100 gallon total for
about 150 at your local Costco. And I like the Lifetime brand composter. Actually aside
from the hinges busting out and getting all deformed one time because I over filled it,
it kind of popped back into shape and I had to like hammer back the little clips to work
properly. And I guess about week ago I was spinning it and it actually opened up in mid
rift in mid spin and dumped all the stuff on the ground, which is a pain in the ass
and I don’t like that. So I’m letting you guys know that could be a potential problem
with this guy. It’s a good deal for the price, nonetheless. The next one right here, if you guys could
see it, 55 gallon barrel composter. I got this free, actually free is good, from my
brother. So he won it in some contest and he doesn’t compost, give me a break. But
you guys should. And, you know, I got it for free, so I have a video assembling actually
the Lifetime and this guy on YouTube. It was actually a pretty good episode. And that guy
actually is working fairly well. Once I got it dialed in, you know. The main thing is
at least this guy has little handles you could put your fingers in and spin this guy around.
Let’s see if I could do it with one hand while I’m sitting down. So, you know, that’s a good workout, I don’t
go to the gym, I just come and spin my compost pile. But, you know, this can be hard for
a lady to spin. Now this guy, even for me to spin without the handles, that’s definitely
a workout. So, you know, that, I don’t like it so much although it works. So I definitely
like the ones that are kind of go on the, you know, the horizontal direction versus
the vertical direction. So if you’re going to make one of those, make it the horizontal
way. The next guy back is the Joraform 270 composter,
that’s 270 liters, approximately 70 gallons. That’s the composter that got me really
excited about composting. I mean, it’s insulated, it’s made out of metal, it sits higher than
the others. You could, you know, put a wheelbarrow underneath it and pull all the compost out
once it’s finished. It works faster, it’s just more efficient and it’s a good design.
So that’s the one I really like a lot. And then the last one I got is a Sun-Mar 400.
It’s touted as, you know, a really good composter, continuous cycle and all this stuff.
And I found that basically it’s just not generating the high level of heat. So if I
had to rate these guys in order, I’d say number 1 is the Joraform. Number 2 actually
I like the Lifetime. Number 3, considering the price and all the factors, actually I
like the barrel composter. Number 4, the Sun-Mar is my least favorite because it’s just so
high priced and it’s just not really working that well. That being said, I still got compost issues,
man. I eat lots of fruits and vegetables and have a lot of food, you know, scraps and yard
clippings and waste from my garden that I got to put somewhere. And, you know, for a
while I didn’t have my composters dialed in so they didn’t have the right carbon
and nitrogen ratio and they weren’t working well. But now the Joraform got me really excited
about composting. And now I’m actually just about to empty one of my sides of the Joraform,
so stay tuned for that episode on that. But all these guys, believe it or not, are full,
despite all their capacities. And I still have actually piles and piles and piles of
yard clippings that need to go somewhere. I guess I might start a pile, but I’ve done
that before and it just doesn’t really work because it dries out. And I don’t want to
waste the extra water on watering my pile when I could have one of these guys. So we got a new solution today. And the new
solution today is another composter. And you’re going go John you got another composter, you
got one, two, three, four there, and then I got another one over there you can’t see
in the shot, it’s just a standard plastic square bin, which I don’t recommend at all.
It would be better just to get some, you know, free wood pallets and nail them together into
like 4 different things, you know, and use one like that instead of just some bin. But
I need more space. And you know, so I got a new composter. And the new composter I got,
well, let me go ahead and show you guys that. This is going to be the build episode and
to share with you guys the quality of the composter and show you the build make out
and actually should be pointed out to. So now I’m going to share with you guys
my favorite composter. As you guys just heard, the Joraform really got me excited about composting.
And, you know, my, it’s my mission to get you guys excited about gardening and composting
and whatever. So that’s why I like some of these tools that allow you to get into
it. I mean, if I really didn’t get the Joraform, I would have not really been so excited about
composting as I am now. Because I just really like the tools that work well. I mean, you
know, one of these days I’ll get one of them Tesla cars and I’ll be probably excited
about driving it. But right now I’m driving a bio-diesel fuel jeep, which is still cool.
But the Tesla, man, I think is going to be fast and be energy efficient, it’s just
going to kick ass. And you’re going to get excited about driving again. But anyways,
the composters get me excited about composting. So it’s no surprise that I got yet another
Joraform composter. So here’s the box here. And this is the website for the Joraform company,
this is from Sweden, so it’s . They have a website which also
I think is the UK website or is the US distributor of the Joraform. Now this model is not the same model I got.
I got the 270 over there. And the 270 is 270 liters, which is about 70 gallons. This one’s
actually the Joraform 400. So the 400 liters and I think it’s around 105 gallons or so.
So this is definitely going to be a lot larger, and hopefully this will put all my composting
needs to rest. Now, you know, I would encourage you guys to get the largest composter size
you can. You know, now the Joraform 400 definitely will set you back a pretty penny. But, you
know, what they say is that because of a larger mass and the larger literally pile going to
be contained inside the tumbler, it will be able to generate a hotter heat ball like,
you know, a sun that’s larger is going to get hotter than a sun that’s smaller. So,
and hopefully it will turn the composter over faster. I have seen that my standard Joraform
over there probably turns compost, I don’t know, maybe 4 to 6 weeks for sure. But it’s
kind of tough because this is gone actually a little bit longer than that, because I had
a friend staying with me and she added things to the compost when I was supposed to just
be tumbling it and not adding stuff. But it’s all good, you know. Get to experiment more
with that later, specially with my new one I could do side by side trials to see which
one’s going to be working faster. Anyways, this guy is actually, you know, will
set you back a pretty penny. I, you know, depending on the price, you know, it would
actually be a probably better investment to buy two of the 270s and one of the 400s, because
that will actually hold more material than just the 400. But the 400 may work faster.
So I don’t know about that. We’re going, we’re going to see. So what we’re going to do today in this
video is we’re going to set this guy up. This is the JK400, and that’s my initials,
JK. But it comes in 3 boxes and these boxes are heavy. I mean, you guys, you guys should
know you guys get what you pay for. This is an expensive composter and you guys get something
really good. Let’s see, it comes in 3 boxes. Like 2 of the boxes are like 75 lbs each,
so that’s 150 lbs of composter right there. And this box is really light, you know. In
my opinion what they should do is probably, you know, put 3 even size boxes, about the
same size, about the same weight. So instead of like 75 in two boxes and I don’t know
like 5 lbs in one box, they could put like 50 lbs in each box thereby it’d be easier
to lift it and to manage. This way maybe also maybe not get damaged in shipping. That was
one of the issues I had with the other Joraform that I got. There were some small damages
in the shipping. So hopefully this one won’t be damaged. I guess the next thing is I’m
going to go ahead and unload these boxes and just lay it all out here and show you what
it looks like and start building. Alright, so I got everything out of the box.
As you could see, there is definitely a lot of parts. You know one of the reasons why
the box was so heavy is seriously this stuff, all made out of metal, man. This is like heavy
duty stuff. I think the only things that are plastic are some of the fasteners inside.
You got the polyethylene foam here, which is the insulation. This is the same material
that they make the plastic bags out of that don’t decay in the landfill. But this will
definitely keep your compost warm. This is probably the number one reason why I like
the joraform. With the insulation, it keeps a higher sustained heat and can get up to
160 degrees inside, which means your compost is going to happen sooner rather than later. Lets see, the other thing, they have a few
plastic pieces that kind of go in between the polyethylene, ldpe stuff. And other than
that, man, it’s like all seriously metal. So you guys get what you for. I mean, seriously
you guys buy one of these, it’s probably the last composter you’re going to have
to buy. Let’s see here. So the instructions, pretty
much similar to the instructions on the JK 270 that I’ve built. They’re European
instructions. So kind of just straight direct to the point. I would rather have like maybe
like the pictures better in the back here, which I’m just going to work off, I don’t
need to read the directions, I just look at the pictures. I don’t know if they have
each picture next to each direction, you know, it’s all labelled out here with like a large
picture and just a little bit of a text next to it. That’s more of the easy way to assemble
stuff. But if you’re good at figuring stuff out, this should not be an issue. And I assembled
this, no problem last time, no problems. See, they also got a little booklet here that didn’t
come in my last one. So this must be pretty new. This booklet actually I read through.
I usually don’t read the instructions. But this is actually very useful to read through.
My one comment is that some of the, the text is in color and it’s actually quite hard
to read. I’d probably make all the text just black so people could read it a little
bit better. But yeah, lots of good information in here, you know, trouble shooting, you know,
and just tips on getting the best from your composter. Now one of the things I do want to go over,
is that in here they recommend Suitable for composting: food scraps, raw, cooked, fried
and non-smoked meat and bones, bones will be cleaned but not composted, fish and bones
will compost, shell fish, vegetables raw and cooked, eggs and egg shells, breads and biscuits,
fruits, coffee grounds and filters, tea bags a tea leaves, paper crushed shredded or torn
up into small pieces, egg cartons torn up into small pieces, let’s see..bedding from
hamster guinea pig cages, wood pellets, wood pellet cat littler used or unused, soiled,
plant waste. So in this composter, they actually advocate
the use of composting meat, which is what many composters are say are a big no-no. So
why do they do this? Well, I could only, you know, make an assumption of why they’re
doing this because with the high heat levels in here, basically it breaks down al the bad
stuff that could be contained in the meat. Of course, I’m not going to be composting
any meat or meat products in my composter. But if you want to do that, you can definitely
do that in the Joraform. They also have talked about putting the bedding
and if the bedding from the hamsters and guinea pigs or even your cats like the wood based
pellets are going in the composter, the, maybe the poop will too. Now I can’t necessarily
advocate poop, putting any kind of animal poop in your Joraform. That being said, if
you can compost meat, it’s hot enough to kill the bacteria in the meat, it should also
be alright killing the bacteria in any manure compost from any animals or maybe even yourself. So with that, I guess, I got to take a break,
man. It’s hot in the sun, and what I’m drinking today is some fresh made watermelon
cucumber juice. Mmmm, definitely good, will cool you off on a hot day. I think next I’m
going to go ahead and get to work. Very simple to assemble this. All you’re going to need
really is a screwdriver, just a a fill up screwdriver with a couple adjustable end wrenches
or wrenches. And I guess what we’re going to so, what I’m going to go ahead and time
the process and how long this takes and we’ll come back at you, probably at different points
and let you know how it’s going. So before I get into on building the unit,
I have a few more comments about the, you know, the packing of the unit. I had to unpack
it and, you know, some of these panels here actually, you know, once again, like last
time I got one of these units, they’re dinged on the corners and some of these are kind
of dinged and maybe have a little bit of rust, which is really curious for me. You know,
they definitely need to pack these better. They come in like these little like bubble
wrap things that are really like small bubbles. I don’t know if they could increase the
bubble size or make little bit of corners to put on these out of some material so that,
like cardboard, so that they don’t just bent out and stuff. Because I mean, buying
an expensive product just shouldn’t be coming damaged like that. It’s just, just not acceptable. Another thing that probably wasn’t, was
okay but not super acceptable to me was this little hardware pack here. This is all the
different nuts and bolts and screws and everything that, that you’re going to need to assemble
the unit. And it’d be much better if each type of screw or nut was individually packed
in it’s own little bag with like the number or the part number, so that it’s more easily
identifiable. I mean, I’ll figure this stuff out but it would just be more clean to do
it that way. Maybe have it in a little box. I think I assembled recently at a friend’s
place, the Lifetime composter, similar to the one right there, but it’s the 250 gallons
and actually they, they had it laid out really well and like nice cardboard and plastic blister
packed with all the different part numbers labelled for all the different parts. Plus
they could also easily determine if all the parts are included, because I know sometimes
when there are just throwing a bag, you might be missing screws. And that’s definitely
not going to be fun. So hopefully I’m not missing any screws today. I guess with that, I guess next what I’m
going to do is I’m going to go ahead and time the assembly process. This is supposed
to take about an hour they say to assemble this guy. And I’ll probably come back at
you at different, different points at my, the assembly process, to let you guys know
how it’s going. As you could see, I’m in to the install
here. And it’s pretty much pretty basic. You’re taking some, you know, wrenches here,
tighten up some bolts and just getting this assembled. I’m pretty much assembling the
frame first, and now we’re doing the main part of the composter. So the main thing is
to, some of the tips I want to give you is number one, I’ve pretty much ripped up the
assembly manual into separate sheets. So I have like one diagram has the parts, one diagram
has the written directions that I’m looking through, and one diagram has actually the
picture. So I could look at all those at the same time instead of keep having to flip back
and forth. Now I know you’re not supposed to rip books apart, but this is your instruction
book, you could do whatever you want. The other thing I have done to assembling
it a little bit easier is I did lay some cardboard, the cardboard that actually the product came
in, on the ground to protect it, you know, protect it’s finish while I’m building
it. So that’s kind of smart. So I guess I’m just going to go ahead and line up the
different components. Basically now we’re putting on the, the sides, the foam, this
piece of plastic, some foam and then we’re just going to build it all up. And this will
assemble the main body unit. This is probably the most important step to make sure all the
things are lined up properly when you’re assembling this. I mean it’s just all pretty
easy, just take a little bit of time. And, you know, once again take your time and assemble
it right the first time so you don’t have to redo it. I’m going to get back to work
and, you know, continue the assembling. So I’m continuing to assemble this unit
here, and there’s a few things happening. Number one, we got the nice hot sun today.
Now guess what? Metal in the hot sun..oww! Starts to get hot! So, you know, it has slowed
me down a little bit. I’ve even had to put on some little, some gloves here so that my
fingers wouldn’t burn literally. I mean, this is one of the benefits to a metal composter
is that it heats up very fast. Oww! You could probably cook your eggs on here. And also,
because of the insulation, it will keep inside warmer as well. Which means your compost is
going to happen faster. So I’ve pretty much got most of this together. I had one point
where I needed help from a friend to hold this guy so I could tighten the guy up right
here. But otherwise, as you could see, I’m using like a shovel basically propped up against
this, the handle here which is nice. This model has four handles to spin the composter,
in addition to the handles on the unit itself. So I’m using a shovel so that it wouldn’t
like spin around while I’m assembling it. Because I am doing this pretty much virtually
with one person. Except for that one part to tighten one of these guys, which I probably
could have finagled and done it myself if I had a couple pipes or something. So what I’m doing now is basically screwing
in each one of these panels here. So the first thing I like to do is I like to use a standard
screwdriver. Align these guys up and just make sure they’re in place, and thread the
screw out. Then I’ll just screw it in, kind of get it right past the point where it starts
to dig in because these are self tapping screws. I’ll get one and then I’ll get the second
one. And once they start getting tapped, which sometimes could use some wrist strength. I
like there’s other ways that I could strengthen my wrists besides doing things inside the
house, like I could be building a composter. And let’s see here, once I got it in past
that point, I’ll use the candy ryobi 21:52. And for those of you guys that have one, this
is basically on a clutch number 12 setting, so I don’t strip these guys out. It will
stop it and it looks to about right. And now I just got to do the other side and keep putting
these panels on, and I’ll come back at you when I’m almost done. Alright! I’m popped out of the composter
here. This thing is totally ginormous. So I’m really excited about this. Almost done
building it actually. I got one more panel to put in and then I’ll be done constructing
it. I want to quickly go over just some of the
features that I really like about the Jora composter here. Number one feature overall,
nice metal construction here. Now while this does get hot when you try to build it, you
know, it’s definitely going to be durable. It’s galvanized and with powder coating.
So that’s really cool. The next thing that’s really cool- insulation.
This is the polyethylene insulation, food safe. So your compost can come in contact
with this and it’s not going to make your compost toxic or nothing like that. This is
also going to insulate your compost so that the bacteria in your compost tumbler can work
much quicker. So this compost tumbler can get a sustained temperature that I’ve experienced
of about 150. They say it can get up to 160, which it might have. But I definitely have
seen this composter, the other one I got maintains a much higher temperature than my other composers
here. This one due to the larger mass in here, hopefully the pile will even get hotter and
I’ll see even hotter temperatures, which means this one is going to actually even work
much quicker. Another thing about the Joraform that I like,
number one, rodent and pest proof. So I mean, I don’t know any rat that can chew through
steel, you know. And so this is going to keep the vermin away. So you know, that’s definitely
a big problem I have had with standard compost piles before attracting rodents. And you don’t
like them and your neighbors like them even less than you do. So that will keep them away. In addition, I like the height of this. You
don’t have to bend over to fill it. And it’s actually nice and tall so you could
actually slide and wheelbarrow under when you’re going to dump it out. I mean, I think
those are the main features I like. I guess I got to go into, you know, getting the few
last panels on. Then I’ll show you guys how to load it, because even if you have the
best composter, if you don’t use it properly, it’s just still not going to work for you. So now we’re on the last screw to screw
in, and we’re done with this Jora composter. Let’s go ahead and do that. Alright! All
done building the Jora composter. Now I want to comment on how this guy was
assembled. Now this is my second Jora composter to assemble. I did assemble the JK 270 over
there, and this is my second one, the JK 400. Only difference mainly is the larger capacity.
This one also has the little turn handles that makes it easier to turn. Otherwise, the
assembly is actually fairly similar on both units. Now this unit, you know, they say it
takes about an hour to put together. It took me about 2 hours to put this guy together
from start to finish. And yeah I had to take couple breaks, maybe slow down a little bit
because of the hot sun on the panels that I mentioned about earlier. And, you know,
I just like taking my time and instructions weren’t totally exactly clear on how to
do it. Got to read a couple things and maybe could have been better explained. But I figured
it out. Went together without a problem. So no problem in the assembly. Now the next thing I want to go over is, you
know, I do have, and significantly more shipping damage occurred with this unit. And it’s
no surprise, two the boxes were 75 lbs each, and when they’re that heavy probably the
delivery drivers whether they’re UPS or FedEx or whatever, probably just throw the
box instead of taking care of them. So a lot of these corners actually were dinged up and
unrounded and, you know, not too good. And there’s actually even some, you know, some
minor damage to some parts of the metal here that were actually scratched or whatever.
So I definitely believe that they definitely do need to package these guys. I mean, if
you’re buying a $700 composter, there should be zero damage. You shouldn’t have to worry
about pieces that are bent and this kind of stuff. That’s just petty stuff. I mean,
you know, it’s just ridiculous that they can’t put some extra cardboard or some more
bubble wrap or do something so that the damage does not occur because, in my opinion, that’s
just simply not acceptable. Nonetheless, that is a cosmetic thing that’s definitely not
going to affect the functionality of this. Maybe if they’re selling damaged ones, if
they actually have a scratch and dents there, then for every one that’s damaged they should
knock off a 100 bucks. Hey then I’d be alright with it. But nonetheless, now that we have this assembled,
we’re going to go ahead and fill it up. So next I’m going to go ahead and show you
my secret recipe on how to get successful results in the Joraform composter or any other
composter that you might be using. Alright! You guys caught me. I’m making
some compost. Yep, that’s right, shredding some paper. They actually, here’s a really
good use of the Joraform instructions. They weren’t that good, I didn’t like them,
so guess what? They’re getting shredded through my shredder to go into the Joraform
composter. Let’s go ahead and shut this guy off. Now, you know, the thing I’m making
right now is actually the paper component. And paper is from trees so paper is a carbonaceous
source. You need to have a carbon and nitrogen in order to compost successfully. So if you’re
going to add paper, you definitely need to shred it up into the smallest pieces possible,
like the, like small cross cut or even like confetti shreds would be totally the best.
You can, you know, shred up things like newspaper, you know, garbage bags and things like that.
I do shred some printed paper but I prefer not to because it may be bleached and what
not. And I don’t prefer to put like, you know, a toner, you know, or a color, you know,
inks or whatever that are not soy based into my compost pile. Because that may not be so
good. But nonetheless, you can compost these things, they have a nice carbon source, because,
you know, in a small residential area you might not have a carbon source. Say you live
in an apartment, you know, you might not have any trees to get the leaves, which is a carbon
source or anything like that. So the, the paper can be useful. Although that being said,
you need to generate a lot of paper to make up a good amount of carbon. So with that, I want to share some more carbon
sources with you guys, besides the paper we got here. Let’s put that to the side. Got
your standard tree leaves. So the tree leaves are an excellent carbon source. I’m going
to go ahead and put that aside. Now one that you may not know is right here. This guys
is actually called coconut coir. So this is actually coconut coir which is used for the
bedding. I bought it to grow some microgreens here and still has got all the roots and everything
in there. So this will actually be a nice carbon source for my compost pile, but also,
you know, the roots will decompose and make more nutrition for my compost. Now let’s talk about the carbon-nitrogen
ratio. You need the right ratio for your compost to work properly. And if you’re like one
of them scientific minds, you know, go google do a google search on the exact ratio. I like
to keep things simple, KISS, Keep It Simple Silly. Oh hey, I think it’s something else.
Anyways. You want to keep it simple and, you know, my simple program is simply this, you
know, you want to put like a 5 gallon bucket of the greens and we got nitrogenous waste
products here. Some of the orange peels and mango and things from the kitchen, plus a
lot of the, you know, other greens from the yard clippings and stuff like that. You need
to have the right ratio. So what I like to do is like one bucket of this, one bucket
of that. Now, you know, that will get you going, you know. Technically you want to put
actually probably two times as much carbon to nitrogen, so you really need a lot of this
stuff. And the problem is many people may not have it. So what I like to use instead
is this stuff right here. This stuff makes it really simple. This is actually called
the Dry Den Soil Bedding. So you could get this at a feed store. Basically what this
is, this is compressed sawdust into little pellets which they use for horse bedding.
And I have shown this before. But the other thing that’s really cool about this particular
product, the Dry Den, I don’t know if you could see that right here, it says ‘organic
zeolites added’. So what are zeolites and why are they added? Is it good for my compost,
can I put it in there? Because normally the horse bedding I get is the 100% wood chips.
So this has a small percentage of the zeolites. The zeolites are basically minerals and I
have actually put them into my garden beds with zeolites before. And I think they’re
definitely a good thing to add. And I have a video, you know, in the past about zeolites.
But the reason for the zeolites in here is because the zeolites will absorb the ammonia
from the horse horses gets less ammonia, that’s the horse pee. So on the same token, when
your compost is composting, right, if the mix is really hot and it’s working really
well, it may have a funky smell, you know, which may not be desirable. So that’s a
good reason to have this product with the added zeolites that will reduce the odors
coming from your compost pile. In addition, the zeolites are really good for your garden
because they add, you know, the minerals. Some of the minerals but more importantly,
they hold water, release water and also are good for the occasion for moving water in
and out. So your plants are definitely going to grow better. So that’s this stuff. And, I mean, other than that, we just got
to, you know, mix only 10% of this stuff in with my kitchen scraps. And I produce far
more kitchen scraps than I do the yard waste here. I eat lots of fruits and vegetables.
So this can be a significant issue. And that’s why I’ve pretty much been running out of
compost to like create. This is actually just one 5 gallon bucket in a day besides juicing
and blending and all this kind of stuff. I have a lot of food scraps. So when you get the 10% of the pine pellets
into your kitchen scraps, what I like to do is I like to take an empty bucket here, this
is just one of my compost buckets. I like to take the bucket and then just dump it and
10% of the pellets on the bottom of the bucket. Now I’m going to go ahead and take
this inside and fill this up with kitchen scraps and then when I dump this whole bin
into my composter, it already has got the proper amount of the
pine pellets in there with the added zeolite. And then I just get to dump it in there. So
what we’re going to do next is actually just going to go ahead and dump this stuff
in the composter, spin it a few times, and we’ll be off and composting. Alright! Now the moment you’ve been waiting
for. We’re going to go ahead and fill up this Jora composter. Let’s go ahead and
open this guy up. Wow, brand new. I’m going to get this thing soiled. I like getting things
soiled, not only in my composters but my clothes too! Hey, wait a second, oh I like to do that
when at moms. Now I got to wash my own clothes, I better not do that. Anyways, we’re going to soil up this Joraform
with the new compost I got. Let’s see, first we’re going to go ahead and put in all that
yard clippings here. Oh, man I like this barrel! 5 gallon bucket fits directly in this. The
opening’s a little bit larger than the other Jora I got. Put that in there next. So this
was our greens, a lot of old parsley and grass and weeds. Now it’s always best to, you
know, cut up the compost or whatever you’re composting into the smallest pieces whenever
possible for best results. I get lazy sometimes. So sometimes big pieces of stuff go in there.
Next, we’re going to go ahead and put in our browns, the leaves. Alright. Right in
there, nice and easy. Nice big opening here makes it real simpler to feed the compost
in. Next, need some more browns. We got some of the paper shreds and of, course, that coconut
coir, right in there. Alright, we’re going to make some good compost with this mix. Throw
that in there. Alright. Next, we got the food scraps. This is the, this is the reason why
I have so many composters because I generate a lot of food scraps and I produce it a lot
faster than these composters could work. Hopefully now with this Joraform 400, it will definitely
take care of all my needs. So let’s go ahead, and this guy is heavy, kitchen scraps right
here going on in. Alright! Check it out, man. Right in there,
pre-mixed, got mango skins, orange skins, lemon skins, avocado peels. Oh, I’ve been
eating some cactus fruits, man, this stuff’s the bomb. All kinds of stuff, all kinds of
skins and peels including some of my recycled paper towels here, going right in. It’s
better if these guys are chopped up a little bit but they’ll still break down. Right
in there. The cool thing is because I did line the bottom with those little pellets,
it’s clean on the bottom so you don’t have to wipe this out. And a lot of it has
actually started to disintegrate already back into the sawdust. Now you might think I’m done there, but
there’s two more things we need to add, really important. Number one, you want to
add some pre-existing compost. So this is some compost and I’ll put that in. That
will inoculate it with the right microbes. Now if you don’t do that, this step, it’s
alright, it will still happen. But if you do this, it’s just going to happen much
better. Next thing you want to put in – the rock dust.
This is the Gaia Green Glacial Rock Dust we’re adding here. The rock dust adds the trace
minerals to your compost so that when you’re done with your compost, you put them in your
garden, it’s pre-inoculated with the trace minerals. Plus this makes the microbes go
crazy. So I’m going to go ahead and put that in there very carefully. It can get a
bit dusty there. And those are normally the two things I recommend, but I’m going to
add one more thing, not totally needed. Or this actually next item can take the place
of the compost, fresh made compost from my other Jora that’s currently working. Actually
this stuff’s almost about done. We’re going to go ahead and add this and make sure
we got this thing pre-inoculated, Because I know that this stuff’s going to probably
heat up within a day or two for sure, and already start breaking down to make more compost
for my garden. Let’s go ahead and throw that in there. So we added everything. Now all we got to do is spin. Alright, man,
look at that. Now this Jora actually has handles on it so it makes it significantly easier
to spin around. Man, it makes it really easy. I personally still like using these handles
here. But, you know, if you’re a woman you need better leverage or you may be a man that
doesn’t have a lot of strength, upper body strength, these handles make it a breeze. So I definitely enjoyed building my new Jora
composter, sharing the experience with you, and letting you guys know more about it. You
know, once again, the Jora composter has got me really excited about composting because
it’s just a tool that allows you to compost more effectively and more efficiently and
faster than anything else I’ve ever tried. And I’ll be continuing to try new and different
composters whenever I can. So I get this situation under control. Now, making your compost is by far the best
thing you could do with your food scraps. I mean if you send them to the landfill, they
create more methane gas, and it’s not good. But if you use your food scraps and yard clippings
to make your own compost, you’re going to make the best stuff on earth because, you
know, big industrial composting companies can’t do it as good as you are. I mean,
and I, and I bet you a lot of money that they’re not using the rock dust like I want you guys
to. In addition it will save you guys a lot of money. Because some compost can cost actually,
you know, 5 bucks a cubic foot. And making this in the Jora will happen really fast so
that it could save you money. So you could put the food scraps and yard clippings back
into your garden to enrich your plants, which will in turn enrich you. Alright! So we’re back! Hopefully you guys
enjoyed that episode. It’s been probably a little bit over a month at this point, and
I wanted to share with you guys the update on the Jora 400 that I got. The first thing
is I want to tell you guys that man, this guy is like really heavy. It’s like this
is definitely a good workout. I got to like dig in and pull and turn this thing. So if
you’re a young little lady and single, email me, I mean, then you might not want to get
this big Jora because it’s actually quite heavy to turn. You can use these handles.
You can also use the handles on here. But definitely it does take some, some strength
to turn it because it is so large. So now what I want to do is actually show
you guys the inside. You guys saw me fill it up. And check this out, both sides, man,
I got some nice finished compost. I filled it up almost to the top, and now inside you
could see nice, dark, rich compost. Go ahead and smell that. Wow! Just a nice neutral smell.
Now yes, there’s, you know, still some sticks in here and some mango pits that I could go
ahead and break open, one of my favorite pastimes. And literally, this is cooking from the inside.
This is actually still quite warm. Wow! Smells like cooked mango. Alright! So, yeah, the Jora has been a complete
success, you know. The Jora remains, at this point, my number one favorite composter. I
mean, mainly just because it’s just so well built and works really well. I mean, it’s
made out of solid metal, insulated, you know. While I do like the large one because compost
may happen fast because there’s a lot larger compost and pile mass which may cause it to
heat up quicker, you know. Unless you’re an institution or produce a lot of compost
like I do, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it because it is actually quite heavy to turn.
I’d much rather get two of the smaller Jora composters, the JK 270 , instead of one large
one. But, you know, the large one does have a place. And I’ve learned to like it because
I could stuff a lot of stuff in here. And with all the different composter lined up
here, I finally got in to controlling the amount of food scraps and yard clippings I’m
generating to fill this up, and it’s working nice and fast. So hopefully I won’t have
to bring any new composters in. So hopefully you guys enjoyed this episode
learning more about the Joraform 400, JK400 composter. Once again, my name is John Kohler
with . We’ll see you next time, and remember- keep on composting.

100 thoughts on “Composting Made Fast & Easy with an Insulated Compost Tumbler

  1. Thanks for giving us the one-month update — it's great to see that it really worked quickly.

  2. I need one of them,I'm composting in a 5gallon bucket. It does really well and fast it's just I'm limited on the amount I can make.

  3. I swear, I love this guy and his videos. It must take sooo much time and dedication to do all of the videos he does.

  4. Throw a can of cheap beer and another of cheap SUGAR-sweetened soda. It'll break down in half the time. You might have compost in one week with your super-composter(s).

    This even works with a simple compost pile. You can start putting it into your garden after two weeks or so.

  5. hi john I was wandering if you had any tree collards for sale and If it is possible that I could get some from you and if so how much. I live down here in the south so I don't know if it would be possible for me to get a few from you. so I was just wandering if you shipped them to people or not and by the way I think you do an awesome job on your videos so keep up the great work.

  6. I use welded wire fabric and place it on the ground. My ring is 5' high and 40" in diameter. It takes work to turn it (skip a gym session), but this allows for better compost because worms and other organisms can come up and break down the compost when it starts to cool down. What John has are good for the desert, I guess, where the soil is so sandy.

  7. John, about the video.. go into the auto light fixing. Not sure what program you use, but auto adjust lighting.. looks like you took a trip to the sun 🙂

    Great video man!

  8. I would like to see you make a video of the process use part of this video the ingredients and show how it breaks down every week

  9. can i add organic fertilizers to my compost tea ,sea bird guano fish emulisuion other types of dry organic fertilizers ? will it hurt the microbes ?

  10. I hope you don't mind me asking this question but I am confused. I have watched quit a few of you videos the past few months and if I am not mistaken you are in your back yard in Las Vegas. Then I see you in a front yard and you talk about Sonoma. Where are you?

  11. i'm not a compost expert presently.. however, i think the 'funky smell' from composting means the process is anaerobic and will not yield great results.. so more oxygen/air needed in the mix.

  12. @DanaD2324 I hear you. This guy is incredible! Funny and dedicated. The HD is great, as well as the new intro graphics and music. Feels like John is continuing to try new things to make his videos better for us.
    p.s. I have the JK270 and really like it. Thanks, John.
    p.p.s. Is it too hot there for a worm farm? My worms eat up my juiced scraps and multiply quickly. Thanks for recommending the Omega VRT 330!

  13. the Tesla's are sexy but running on electricity dose not mean energy efficient or good for the environment. there better than a truck or an suv but….

  14. thanks for the info. I wonder if you have tried Probiotics Bucket/Bokashi for composting.


  15. The Jora is working awesome for me. I built a platform out of 4X4's and concrete blocks that elevates it up to where I can reach it easily from my deck. It's so easy to add organic matter and when it's done I can roll the wheel barrow under it and empty it with ease. I'll work my butt off for a day or two if it allows me to be lazy in the future.

  16. John, thanks again and always for the videos. I live in the east bay CA and am worried that the joraform may get the composite too hot. It can reach high 90's where I live. Will the joraform over heat the composit? Thanks

  17. not a problem in the 90s with the jora. Mine have experienced days of 117 degrees, and it makes them work faster!

  18. I suggested the bungee cords as an inexpensive fix. Don't know if they will hold back that volume of material, but I figured they are easy to put in place
    and remove when necessary. I use 4 black (recycled materials) box-style composters that sit on the open ground. They work best for me and my climate.

  19. Does it heat past 160 degrees? Any concern with nutrient loss if temperatures go beyond 160? Also, could I use weeds/thistles, daisies and mint as compost without harming the garden? I have lots of this.

  20. wayyyy to expensive.. how about using a metal drum, insulating with foam and then building a tumbler action into it? I can get the metal drums for $30/piece.. do you think these would work

  21. hair composts soooooooo slowly, i highly recommend against it unless you're not going to be using the compost for a loooong time.

  22. Your choice.

    I have never heard "alcohol kills plants", nor that "alcohol kills microbes". What you did not note is that beer (which I have never drunk, btw) contains microbes, and a lot of enzymes that the soil microbes in compost use to grow far faster than they otherwise would.

    YouTube's own "Reaganite71" has a series of composting videos on "drunken compost". You might consider watching.

  23. Even with the much lower price in USmerica, I wondered how I could build one for myself. Sheet metal and Styrofoam® ain't that expensive, but it would take a lot of work. Pop rivets and sheet metal screws should hold 'er together. Along with the bolts John mentioned and EMT for the "legs" and "arms"I believe one could make a good substitute. Just need a break for the metal folds, and I'd be in business. Well not "in business", since selling them would be illegal, patents, 'n' all.

  24. I wouldn't trust it, but I suppose it would work. What I meant was, don't use diet crap. Not only will it not contribute to your compost, but you might be tempted to drink it.

  25. As jo said, nearly any plant matter will work for compost. I would be cautious about poison oak, sumac, or ivy, but, aside from those … .

    However, if you're interested in composting meat, etc., look into Black Soldier Flies (larvae, actually). They'll turn it into top grade compost, and you can feed the grubs to fish, chickens, and other omnivores/carnivores. They also go be "Phoenix Worms", used by herpetologists and other snake.lizard guys.

  26. have you ever built your own rotating composter? they're very popular on youtube. I bought some barrels last weekend, but have not had time to construct it yet. A great alternative for budget composting ^^ (so i hear).

  27. 160° up to 185°F is the right range to kill seeds (you don't want weeds growing in your compost bin or later in your garden). But there is trivial nutrient degradation until over 200°F, probably not 'til 220°F. Compost temperatures are self-regulating: if it gets too hot, the microbial action that creates the heat slows. If it is too cold, it doesn't work at all.

    I wouldn't worry about overheating unless you're in the desert and the bins are in the sun.

  28. Anaerobic composting gives good compost, but it does smell bad.

    The trick is to keep the odors inside the container. Double bagging and really good knots help if you want to go that route. It can be faster than aerobic composting (that most of us are familiar with), but that stench is a hard obstacle to overcome. And, while it can be faster, it is usually slower. But it works in cold climates in winter, so there is at least one significant advantage.

  29. i have been reading a book from 'the soil food web' group about compost and compost tea.. i need to re-read it. as i recall they explain that anaerobic compost may be more likely to contain pathogenic forms than aerobic.. however, i am uncertain presently.
    for me, i prefer to get some air in there to keep the energies fresh and moving.

  30. Why not just get a huge tub and buy a good number of worms to put in your scraps? Cheaper, faster, no watering or turning a pile/bin. Not just that but as they multiply you can make new worm bins with them.

  31. I think I could buy a press break and all the materials to make one and still come out ahead, Paint it black instead of green no one will ever know 😉

  32. Hello John, really enjoyed your presentation on the Jora JK400. I see that you reside in a hot climate, as well as I. So, my questions are…do you compost oleander leaves and mesquite beans? The mesquite trees are dropping beans and I probably gather 2-3 gallons of them daily until they complete their cycle. Are these ok to add to my compost bin? and the oleander is generally considered poisonous to animals, will they break down ok?

  33. The meat thing from what I've heard is mainly to discourage rats man. Meat decomposes just fine given time.

  34. John I need your advice.. before I start iwant to thx u..for ur video.. first time gardener.. watch ur video took ur tip.. and I have the bigger veg and healthy plants. than my neighbours.. and am very proud.. ok I planted red kidney bean.. put sticks 3ft to help support them. they have now reached the top.should I add more stick ..or how do I stop them. and whats a good height for them to grow. ty

  35. John, have you tried the chop and drop mulching method. Instead of composting your garden clippings and what not just drop them right on the ground around your plants. This creates a mulch/green manure that will break down and build your soil right where you need it without the work of collecting and composting.

  36. If I had acreage and a more traditional "farm" I totally would do chop and drop. In my residual situation, I personally do not feel it would be optimal for my needs in this space.

  37. sink BIGGER/longer sticks in the ground and grow them taller and/or put up a string trellis to let them grow along that. Let the grow as LONG as they want. I would not control their growth. Feel blesses as most peoples plants dont grow as much as yours. Most people tomato plants get a few feet tall, and people trip out when I tell them mine are 8+ feet tall. People think its abnormal but its due to working the soil properly.

  38. on the wood ash, I personally would be careful NOT to add too much to the compost pile. If the wood ash is not waste from heating the home, I would rather chip the wood and let it compost down instead of burn it and end up with the ash.

  39. True that. I definitely won't argue with your experience and intuition. If you are interested in seeing thriving urban garden that does use the chop n drop method along with some other really cool concepts you can google search "geoff lawton urban permaculture" and follow the second link from the top. It's titled Urban Permaculture: The Micro Space – Geoff Lawton.

  40. John, what is your opinion on municipal composts? I'm a bit skeptical not knowing what's been added. Seems to be a free for all

  41. Can you use the septic tank treatment Ridex in a compost pile? I read it's just bacteria that eat up/ break down waste.

  42. When I redid my front yard for desert living I did put in a small 13ft x 15ft lawn (back yard has no lawn – its all veggie garden and DG). People asked me why. I use it to throw all the waste from my garden and run it over with a bagging lawn mower to chop it up to help speed up the composting process. 🙂

  43. John do any wood chip dust come out on the vent hole…I got the small one n it does when ever i spin it..

  44. I could use tips on how to convert from an Earth Box system (potting Mix) & 10-10-10 to a sustainable organic one. I've already put a Boogie Blue in the system. Where do I get the info for the proper soil composition & biology? My e-mail is [email protected] I prefer not to loose the wicking system ( auto watering system).

  45. Hey John I'm doing a LOT of juicing, and I also have a big seedless mulberry tree all chopped to bits in my backyard, along with a mountain of chips from the stump grinding. I really want to be efficient with the juice pulp, so how should I go about using all this stuff to get good compost going?

  46. Hello John,

    I just wanted to thank you immensely for testing the best of the best when it comes to composters as well as other organic gardening techniques.  I'm just starting starry eyed with my own urban plot to garden with the goal to create an incredibly productive micro-farm with all the fixings.  While I'm willing and plan to spend from $5-10k/year on this lot it's nice to have someone who is cutting a trail a bit before me I must say.   Keep up the excellent work my man.

  47. Great hearing about your experience and learning about composting. In your mix you mention a cup of rock duat or minerals, what exactly is that? In chemical terms. I am planing to build my ovn 200 L drum insulated, low bodget tumbler, budget less than 100$, if that works out I will post you

  48. I live in Central Florida and have been unable to find rock dust anywhere. Do you know of a place where I can either order or purchase the stuff?

  49. Fuck the dog! $800.00+ for a composter, Those fuckers must be sniffing glue! I will stick to my pile and buy a hooker instead:)

  50. what do you think about worm farms since your waste is all greens vs browns. we also have a lot of green waste and no brown waste. wondering what to do.

  51. I really enjoyed watching this series of vids with you experimenting with the various composters.  I wanted a Joraform 270 so badly but I went for the 125 because of limited space.  Your vids helped me to make that decision and I thank you!!! 

  52. John, What was your final opinion about the Sun-Mar 400 continuous tumbler you have.  I have one too and this is my first season with it.  It sounded great in theory, but it has several issues I don't like.  
    1.  It never gets hot.  Highest I have ever seen was about 120 deg F for a short time.  It's always a struggle to get it over 100, whereas my stationary bin (similar to yours) recently hit over 170 for a week when loaded with leaves and grass in layers.
    2.  It smells anaerobic.  I keep adding browns but it always seems wet and clumped together.  
    3.  It seems to roll every thing into little or big compost balls, even the (un)finished product in the inner tube is rolled into small balls, not crumbly compost.
    4.  Its rodent proof if the door is closed, but the instructions say to leave it open, which does help to dry out the compost and keep it more aerobic.
    5.  Because it is continuous it produces small amounts over time, not the large amounts I get from my stationary batch composter.
    I am rather disappointed in it.  Are you still using yours?

  53. QUESTION : anything in the Jora literature that states the white insulation will not leech toxic plastic by-products into the compost ?

  54. Hi John, the solution to not having cheap water in the dry climate that you live in is to cover your compost piles with a tarp as it keeps the moisture content AND pee into a big bottle and use your urine to hydrate your compost piles.

  55. Hi John and viewers, I don't think people should pay this much for these fancy composters if you just allow 2 to 3 times longer then you don't need the tumble composters and just use a cheap used plastic garbage bin with a bunch of holes drilled into it, or a 55 gallon drum with holes in it. Please don't support this crazy modern world disease called consumerism. I use for pieces of rebar and chicken wire and my compost pile is 5 ft round and 3.5 ft high, total cost 10 bucks scrap.

  56. John, I guess they are not listening to what you are telling them. The 400 are you updating the results. Great videos as usual

  57. Joraform has come down in price but the shop says that you should only really use compressed wood chippings or sawdust so as it soaks up the moisture. I really want to use twigs and clippings from the garden. Do you think Joraform would still be a good option for me to heat up compost the grass and so on from my garden or should i just use a wooden composter and turn it every couple of weeks. So hard to know…

  58. Thanks for another great video. I just picked up a Jora on CL at $50 from an awesome couple locally. You made me crack up on the Rock Dust…. Always with that rock dust! lol. Love your vids.

  59. I don’t have any containers or anything to build with (and don’t really want to shell out 100bucks at this early stage). So will a trash bags/bin liner work? Will the stuff decompose in the bin bag ok?

  60. i have pine trees and sand on my property making it a challenge to compost. or to grow much. there is lots of vines when i dig into the ground. any help you can give is most helpful. enjoying all of ur teachings.

  61. Just a quick update. My Joraform Composter is still my favorite composter after several years. It makes composting Easy. I have negotiated the best price for my viewers so you can get your Joraform at the lowest price with FREE shipping. Just go to: and use the coupon code GREEN10 (must be ALL CAPS). If you prefer to order over the phone, you can call them at 1-888-567-2270.

  62. Really funny you popped out of it for video, rofl!!! When I built mine the week before last I was thinking to myself, I think I could fit in there, ha ha ha. Thanks man have a great day!

  63. I can buy a lot of bags of compost for 319 bucks while I wait for my pile to produce. I'm guessing you get a kick back

  64. I have a composter that I have had for twenty years, it has a little rust on it and the middle bar broke but it still turns. It also survived a branch that fell on it. I don't remember the brand but it's a big metal one that was quite expensive at the time and works real well but it only has one crank handle on one end and does get a little difficult to turn. I just looked at the price of the Jora and my price of $299 was cheap but it was 20 years ago.

  65. An insulated composter? I've been trolling for a month about insulating compost piles. And proposing auxiliary heat to a compost pile on every video about composting. Jonaform figured it out way before I did. But why do composite video makers rarely emphasize insulating? Why is that?.
    This pile center heating is the tip off . The outer one foot of a cubic yard pile is insulation
    Insulate the pile and heat all the way out to the edge of the pile

    Heck plastic sheeting is better insulation than no insulation

    I'm advocating fiberglass batts, carpet , plastic vapor barrier blankets. And electrical heat mats.

    Over aeration. Over aeration cools the pile. A cool pile indicates reduced bacterial activity. ( reproduction ). Right?
    Yeah I'm guessing. But when I insulate my piles it is a warm bed as I lay down on top of the insulated pile. Removing the insulation , the grass , leaves ,green and brown are black with white ash looking stuff that one video said was bacteria not fungi.
    So Jonafirm figured this out years ago but few compost gurus . Few? No! Zero compost gurus mention it.

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