Wednesday, July 09, 2008

A Different Kind of Cooking

Initializing Load

Well, I got a new gadget. I consider it a gift to the environment. I think most of you choose your dinner ingredients carefully whether home grown, farmer's market or the best of the regular market. Then these are prepared carefully, considering the pleasure and life giving healthy qualities that the meal imparts. But how many of us think of the rest of the cycle? Are our food scraps handled in a way that nourishes the earth too?

I've been reading lately about how methane is 72 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide over a 20 year period. 85% of America's waste stream is organic waste, which is what produces this gas. In fact, the decomposition of these wastes is the #1 producer of methane gas in the U.S. Some landfills are in fact capturing and selling this gas.

One solution is composting, but I thought composting impractical in a condo setting - imagine vermin attracted to rotting piles on your deck? However, I came across an indoor composter that is automatic, easy to use, and has filtered the air released in the process to eliminate the odor!

NatureMill Indoor Composter

It's called the NatureMill (Pro version) and it 'cooks' most of your tablescraps and trimmings into a good-for-the-soil compost. This not only eliminates the methane gas making, it also saves water if you would have sent the things down the garbage disposal, and so too saves gas from the trucks hauling it away if put into your garbage. The compost can be used on indoor plants (with a longer cure), and outdoor plants whether potted or in the ground. My initial mix to start it up included dried flowers, bananas, lettuce that had bolted and browned, egg shells and tea bags to mention a few. I'm looking forward to the first batch a week from Saturday, to return nourishment to the soil without fouling the sky!


Kalyn said...

Sounds very interesting. How expensive was it and where did you get it?

I do have a big compost pile in my garden, but mostly it just sits there, I hardly ever put any of the composted stuff on the garden! And of course I don't traipse out there in the snow and put scraps on the pile!

Anna Haight said...

The Pro Edition is $399 (why I referred to it as a 'gift' to the environment). It has a 3 year warranty and the filter lasts 5 yrs. The upside is really, very little tending and no spoiling as it does the work according to its monitoring of conditions. If you have space in your garden, then there are other products that require some work, but work better than just the pile, and are cheaper. I'm just a beginner in this, and there is lots out on the net about composting methods and support. With room outside, worm composting becomes a viable option as well.

Anna Haight said...

Oh, and I just ordered it from the NatureMill website, the link is in the main post.

cookiecrumb said...

Cool Find, Anna.
I do it Kalyn-style, and I haven't put any into the garden yet either, but in my case, it's because the compost is still too young.
(That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.)

Zoomie said...

Neat idea, Anna. I've just started a compost heap with the help of Moonbear's chicken poop but it won't be ready for a year!

Chung T. Nguyen said...

I've had nothing but problems with my Naturemill (not "pro" edition). Do you find yours very loud and smelly? It is so much so that we have to leave the unit outside - it's intolerable.

And the unit has had various broken parts - twice. :( I've had it since February.

Anna Haight said...

Oh you lucky people with the yards! But then, I don't have to worry about keeping mine up.

Chung: Wow. Doesn't sound good. I'm in the initializing stage, the first week is up on Saturday so I can then open and start adding stuff. So far only a quiet humming, and occasionally some thumping noise while it turns, but nothing annoying and no smells. I have electric current on my decks, so it will go on one of those if I have the same experience. I'm glad I sprung some extra for the 5 year warranty given what you just mentioned about the breakage. But so far, I'm a happy camper.