Compost Tea Processor

Last year I purchased an incomplete biodiesel processor, but when I decided not to set it up (for several reasons) I basically had a pile of parts on my hands.  The two main components were 30 and 60 gallon inverted conical drums.  I  figured we would turn the small one into a compost tea processor and the larger one into a  solar shower (yet to be built).  At Greenlife Garden Supply in York I saw a compost tea processor using the same type drum, so I took note as to how it was put together.  Pete (our WOOFer extrodinare) helped me disassemble the bioprocessor.  The two drums were set together on a homemade stand which we had to separate like Siamese twins and re-weld into two different stands.


Re-welded stand.

The stand was the most complicated part.  I did reconfigure the plumbing out the bottom of the drum with a 90 degree brass elbow and a ball valve.  All we had to do now was clean up the drum, insert a bag to hold the compost, and a bubbler.  A couple of years ago we got a couple of fish totes given to us by our friend April.  They had been used for holding live eels and an aerator came with them.  Last year I tried to make compost tea by putting a bunch of green material in a 55 gallon drum, adding water, and running the aerator in it for a few days.  What I got was a smelly mess.  This time I hope will be different.

Pete inserting the aerator.

Pete inserting the aerator.

We had a bag from apple pressing that I thought would be perfect to hold the compost.  I stitched in a draw string, we shoveled in compost, and tied it to the drum lid after after filling the drum with water.  We drilled a hole in the lid to accommodate the aerator hose.  Above Pete is attaching the hose from the compressor to the aerator block with a pipe clamp.  What we did then was hook up the compressor to a 12 volt car battery.

Side view of contraption.

Side view of contraption.

It is running as I write.  Now we just have to wait a few days to see what we end up with.  I had great luck with foliar feeding last year and hope this will work as well as seaweed extract and fish emulsion.

About Broad-winged

Broad-winged Farm is a permaculture landscape in process. Situated on six acres of prime swampland, our goals are energy efficiency, food sustainablility, and land stewardship.
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