I unloaded my first batch of compost from my compost tumbler last week. I started loading it up back in February. It took me several weeks to fill it because this thing is huge! I kept filling it as the kitchen scrapes and yard waste started decomposing. It was really hard to stop and just walk away to let it do its thing. It was probably finished a good month ago but it took me a while to get to it. So, from start to finish it took about 6 months but I probably could have shaved off a month or two.
When I went to unloaded it, I was a bit disappointed with how much was in there. It didn’t look like much at all. I forgot to take a picture of it before I started but this is when I was about half way done. Most of big chunks that look like rocks were really hard to break apart so I soaked them in water before putting them back in with the next load of materials.
Even though it didn’t look like much at first, it ended up filling a 70 quart tote after I put it through a 1/4” screen. That’s 17.5 gallons or 2.7 cubic feet. That’s far more than I expected! I was left with about 6 gallons of unfinished material that I put back in the tumbler for the next round.
The finished compost! In the screened compost, you can still see some larger pieces. I might have done a better job at getting those pieces out if it weren’t so hot outside. Even still, that’s a finer screened compost than anything I’ve bought.
I’ve tried composting several different ways but this was my first successful time with anything other than vermicomposting. I’m quite pleased with how it turned out.