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Composting in a Barrel Tumbler


January 4, 2014

I have attached my CAD drawing for a compost barrel I am building. I have heard from many sources that New Mexicans over aerate their compost and dry it out. There will be (12) 1″ holes around the whole barrel. I was wondering if I have too many aeration holes?


Answer by JZ: Nice tumbler. Some thoughts:
* When that barrel is full of moist organics it will be heavy to turn; you might consider larger / heavy duty wheels.
* Holes: go with 12, then test out the process. If you get too much evaporation then you could tape over a few holes.
* Do you plan on doing hot or cold composting?? Hot method is a high energy process so high oxygen requirements, so 12 holes may be just fine. The downward holes will always be covered with contents material, actually modifying air flow just a bit. Be sure to add bulking material: sticks, twigs, pine cones, etc. as you add moist organic material this will prevent compaction and allow for air flow throughout the contents.

Hope this is helpful. Other MC’s may respond to your question too. Let us know if you need further help.

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