WootBot


quality posts: 14 Private Messages WootBot

Staff

NatureMill Composters: Your Kitchen's Colon

I don't know about you, but my city charges me roughly triple to haul away my trash as opposed to the compost bin. Luckily for me, they'll compost just about anything. But you don't have to want to stick it to BIG GOVERNMENT, you can compost and put your leavings to work in your garden, too!
NatureMill official site



Quality Posts


Goosedude


quality posts: 9 Private Messages Goosedude

Intriguing product....but the price is a little prohibitive.

Will keep an eye out for deals.

-------------
WOOT! WOOOOT!!

Nileo2005


quality posts: 3 Private Messages Nileo2005

I concur. Cool product, but dang you pricey.

lephantman


quality posts: 2 Private Messages lephantman

bought two on a previous woot. great for people in the city, provided you're willing to shell out to do composting fast. I personally wouldn't keep it indoors, but out on the porch is perfect. When balanced properly it doesn't smell much, but at does have a constant hum/churning occasionally, noise a little louder than a fridge compressor but much quieter than a dishwasher. Also once you run out of sawdust pellets it seems counter productive to purchase/ship them just to keep composting...so I just forego that and do mostly greens with torn up egg shell cartons. Compost isn't as high quality and smells a little, but it's always outside and I throw it in a bin to sit for a season to cure anyway. less maintenance than a normal compost pile, but it really benefits from chopping foods into smaller pieces up front (quicker compost times). I keep shears by the pail for this reason.

downsides: one until never actually worked, but the warranty covered it. since it can generate a lot of heat composting, the glue on my metal covering actually separated and now I have a spotty "black" one, so just get the black one if you plan on running on high power (I find it's about $2.50/mo for electricity to run on high). other downside, I overfilled mine a few times and the chrun bar is so strong/outside joint so weak it actually started to split the composter in two. I clamped and glued it back together but this whole torque process ended up
making it so the "transfer" process wouldn't work automatically. my fault, but I just keep a glove nearby and shove it through with my hand when it's ready. which I don't care about anyway, composting is inherently dirty, though this machine does a good job of minimizing that.


you've got to be pretty gung ho about composting to make it a worthwhile purchase. I don't regret it, but I do wish the quality would be a touch better. (They keep improving it over the revisions).

depending on how much compost you generate it might not even do it fast enough. it's pretty maxed out by 3 vegetarians....who also generate a lot of coffee grounds. I assume it'd be just fine for the average family of 4 or 5.

kbajan


quality posts: 2 Private Messages kbajan
Goosedude wrote:Intriguing product....but the price is a little prohibitive.

Will keep an eye out for deals.



+1

Not something I could afford coming out of the Christmas gifting season, nor with the new tax hikes. Heck, my Woot purchases will probably drop. :/

skispeakeasy


quality posts: 31 Private Messages skispeakeasy
Goosedude wrote:Intriguing product....but the price is a little prohibitive.

Will keep an eye out for deals.



Wooters think any product over $200 that doesn't play video is "pricey".


Done and done! ;)

thumperchick


quality posts: 238 Private Messages thumperchick
Special Note ~ Product will ship within 7-10 business days after January 15, 2013.



People should note this - all products in this sale have this notice.

ceagee


quality posts: 62 Private Messages ceagee

I have a counter compost material collector thingy .These pails look nice and good price. I got one from a local artist/potter and so it was a bit more.

We transfer stuff from that daily into a large covered pail at bottom of steps daily. when that is full it goes down to the big composting bin by the garden.

If you have a yard --no need for pellets. Just pile up you leaves in the fall. Of course, you have to be careful and not use acidic ones-- most nut trees like walnut, chesnut and oak are not good. maple works great.

If you are a city dweller using this indoor or porch machines. Find a horse supply/feed store kind of place. Big bags of these for use in stalls are a much better deal. ( make sure they aren't using an acidic wood. )
The whole watching out for acidic leaves/wood chips/sawdust pellets is to keep your soil ph good for growing.

ETA: Go to the "Shred" woot and then you can throw in some of that nicely shredded paper into your compost in stead of the sawdust.
HERE IS A LINK where "Mr. Green" whoever he is, talks about what paper is good for that. Looks like most of it is.
Two woots for composting !



Brueggeman


quality posts: 0 Private Messages Brueggeman

I want one. I want one. I want one. But I am deployed over seas and it will be long gone before I can buy one at this price.

Todd Brueggeman

geekwench


quality posts: 11 Private Messages geekwench

I had a NatureMill for a couple of years. During that time, it tended to smell, jam, and the glue in the seams cracked. Part of this was my fault as I put a lot of "green" matter into it; part of it is just problems with the NatureMill. First, what the instructions tell you is "green" or "brown" waste is actually inaccurate- for the longest time, I couldn't figure out why my compost was wet and smelly, when I was using both kinds of material. When I finally got a plain-Jane composter, put it on my deck, and read the accompanying guide about composting, I realized that what I had thought was "brown" material because of the NatureMill cheat sheet actually isn't. Basically, you need wet [green] material and dry [brown] material, and some of what NatureMill says is brown is actually green. The NatureMill seems to need a lot of extra "brown" material in order to produce compost- my traditional composter doesn't suffer the same problems as the NatureMill did, despite my eating and composting habits being the same now as then. I now get sweet-smelling, rich, black compost that makes my plants gorgeous and takes no effort on my part. I just dump the scraps into it, roll it on its base, and get great compost.

I really wanted to like the NatureMill, but it just didn't work for me. (They also didn't honor the warranty when the sides split apart due to the glue failure, but that's beside the point.) For me, the NatureMill is a lot better in theory than in practice. Once in a blue moon I would get brown, crumbly compost from the NatureMill that looked a lot like shredded bark, but more often than not, I got nothing useful. The capacity is also quite small on these. If you eat a lot of vegetables and try to compost the scraps in a NatureMill, you might find that you need several of the mills to keep up, and you're going to need a lot of sawdust pellets if you eat a lot of vegetables.

For about a hundred bucks, I got a much better composter for my deck. If you can ONLY compost inside, then you might want to consider a NatureMill (or several). If you have any kind of outside space whatsoever, however, you're probably better off with a countertop canister inside and a traditional composter outside. In that respect, picking up one of the countertop compost collectors here might be worth doing. Note, however, that you will never get compost from one of the countertop units alone- they're just meant to collect your scraps so that you don't have to run out to the actual composter all the time.

giolee88


quality posts: 16 Private Messages giolee88

I like the lil' canisters. Got one on the counter right now. thinking about getting a red one for non-compos-table stuff to make it easy to contain smelly kitchen things that I don't want to smell up the main garbage can. It does a good job of containing odors with its charcoal foam thing.

magendaswede


quality posts: 5 Private Messages magendaswede

Thank you for commenting on the counter-top unit. I will happily replace the plastic food container that I currently use! I already have a large rolley compactor in the yard, and I feel good about composting! Also, the waste line from my disposal plugged when I put all that bio-garbage into it.

ceagee wrote:I have a counter compost material collector thingy .These pails look nice and good price. I got one from a local artist/potter and so it was a bit more.

We transfer stuff from that daily into a large covered pail at bottom of steps daily. when that is full it goes down to the big composting bin by the garden.

If you have a yard --no need for pellets. Just pile up you leaves in the fall. Of course, you have to be careful and not use acidic ones-- most nut trees like walnut, chesnut and oak are not good. maple works great.

If you are a city dweller using this indoor or porch machines. Find a horse supply/feed store kind of place. Big bags of these for use in stalls are a much better deal. ( make sure they aren't using an acidic wood. )
The whole watching out for acidic leaves/wood chips/sawdust pellets is to keep your soil ph good for growing.

ETA: Go to the "Shred" woot and then you can throw in some of that nicely shredded paper into your compost in stead of the sawdust.
HERE IS A LINK where "Mr. Green" whoever he is, talks about what paper is good for that. Looks like most of it is.
Two woots for composting !



eswainston


quality posts: 0 Private Messages eswainston

You can get one that looks to be exactly like the white ceramic countertop one at World Market for less than half the price ($14.99). They also have stainless ones for $29.99 - if you're the type who's teenaged son bangs it against the outside compost heap's metal corner rail and breaks it. Not that I'd know anything about that. I do know that the charcoal filters worked great.

http://www.worldmarket.com/product/ceramic-compost-bucket-white.do?&from=Search

michael2255


quality posts: 5 Private Messages michael2255

I just throw my veggie/fruit remains out into the backyard for the rats and squirrels to have at it. They have to eat, too.

thebull10


quality posts: 0 Private Messages thebull10

I bought one of these about 9 months ago. Yes, it's pricey. Yes, you have to follow the directions about adding saw dust or other brown materials when you add green materials (ie, food scraps) and you can't throw a whole coconut in there without cutting into smaller pieces. On the other hand, on the "high" setting, it composts WICKED FAST. I live in Baltimore city, and the moment I started a compost pile in my tiny back yard 5 years ago my neighbors ran across the alley and begged me to stop because the city has a rat problem and everyone's terrified of anything that might attract rats. Thus, an outdoor compost pile is not an option in my neighborhood. Satisfying my desire to compost means vermaculture (worms) or a pricey indoor composter like this. I know people with worms - they smell and weird me out. This nice little unit fits under my counter, isn't too noisy, doesn't use more than a nickle of electricity each month and doesn't have a "gross" factor. I've had a number of guests notice it and ask: "What's that black thing? A paper shredder?"

I keep an air-tight bucket on the counter for food scraps. When it's full, I empty it into the composter. For about 12 hours after I add a new load of scraps - yes - it does smell a little bit. But a day later the smell is gone. I just don't add more scraps right before a dinner party and it's not a problem. If I had an outdoor electrical outlet on my porch that would be the ideal situation.

I cook a LOT but I'm generally just cooking for one or two (I live alone) and I have no problem keeping this puppy full. If you cook for a brood of 5 vegetarians this might not be big enough for your needs. It's definitely a hippy/yuppie toy meant for single apartment dwellers or dinks IMHO.

Finally, there's the compost. The soil here is mostly clay so having organic material to mix into the garden has been fantastic. My garden loves this little unit.

gallagb


quality posts: 1 Private Messages gallagb

I own one, bought it a while back. Used it for 3 years - then moved & never went back to it. Will use it again when we move again. A lot of it depends on where you live.
If you have a place to dump the compost/use the compost- than you are good to go! Currently we don't have a place to put compost.

The one person talked about the brown/green balance- yes, this is key. I ended up producing way too much green matter, so I found a local woodworker and got free shavings from him. I'd go twice a year to pick up shavings & that'd keep me just fine.

I look forward to using it again.

feliphilia


quality posts: 6 Private Messages feliphilia

I think you could also use wood pellets sold for pellet stoves. They are cheap where I live (NH), anywhere from $2.50-$5 per 40 lb bag. They seem to be exactly the same as the pellets sold for horse stalls. I use pellets for kitty litter and I've used both--the horse ones are a little more expensive but I use them in the summer when the stove ones disappear.

If you can't deal w/40 lb bags you can buy ones made to be kitty litter--they come in 10 & 20 lb bags. The pellets themselves are smaller but otherwise the same, except that they are a good bit more expensive per pound.

bethmbg


quality posts: 11 Private Messages bethmbg

Cost Plus World Market has a ceramic countertop composter that looks identical for just $14.99 Am I missing something?

http://www.worldmarket.com/product/ceramic-compost-bucket-white.do?&from=fn

csharms


quality posts: 0 Private Messages csharms

We became vegetarians a year ago and bought the NatureMill composter on Woot a couple of months ago to dispose of the large amount of organic waste. It is so easy and awesome to watch food scraps roll and steam, and in a few weeks have a perfect brown pile of rich, moist soil.

Dirt-making is our new hobby and can't wait for summer--expect have tomatoes the size of basketballs. We LOVE this product!!!!!!!

schorert


quality posts: 4 Private Messages schorert
ceagee wrote:I have a counter compost material collector thingy .These pails look nice and good price. I got one from a local artist/potter and so it was a bit more.

We transfer stuff from that daily into a large covered pail at bottom of steps daily. when that is full it goes down to the big composting bin by the garden.

If you have a yard --no need for pellets. Just pile up you leaves in the fall. Of course, you have to be careful and not use acidic ones-- most nut trees like walnut, chesnut and oak are not good. maple works great.

If you are a city dweller using this indoor or porch machines. Find a horse supply/feed store kind of place. Big bags of these for use in stalls are a much better deal. ( make sure they aren't using an acidic wood. )
The whole watching out for acidic leaves/wood chips/sawdust pellets is to keep your soil ph good for growing.

ETA: Go to the "Shred" woot and then you can throw in some of that nicely shredded paper into your compost in stead of the sawdust.
HERE IS A LINK where "Mr. Green" whoever he is, talks about what paper is good for that. Looks like most of it is.
Two woots for composting !



Bacterial composting? how 1900's. if you're not composting with redworms, you aren't composting.

You can compost indoors with no smell(well, little smell) and much greater speed than traditional methods. paper, cardboard, vegetable matter all go in the bin. the worms produce incredible humus and liquid "worm tea".

b52woot


quality posts: 0 Private Messages b52woot

I purchased one of these and have mixed reviews. Great at making compost also great home for cockroaches. I was horrified! Also the motor burned out after a year. Customer service was very lacking and would not respond to emails.

Two woot or not to woot...

mastiff0


quality posts: 0 Private Messages mastiff0

I've had two many years ago. One right when Nature Mill started production. It jammed a lot and Nature Mill provided me a new, updated model while mine was still under warrenty. The second one might not be the same as the models in this post, but it looked very similiar.

After about a year, I gave up using them. With the lid closed I never noticed a smell, but put too much green in there and it can get real nasty when you open it. I found that the trick was to go heavy on brown ingredients (I ended up using sawdust I got from the saws at home depot). But if you added too much brown (to try to dry out some very smelly compost), you could make the mix too dry and dense, and the machine would clog.
The company's claim that you can generate compost in 2 weeks is false, or could only occur in perfect conditions. It will take some time to acculumate the scraps needed to fill the mill, and then additional time to balance the mixture with browns until your ratio and moisture level is looking good. And then you need to give the machine several weeks without adding anythign to work on this mixture. I would let my mix sit 1-2 months after no longer adding any greens, and I would still end up with dissapointing compost.

I absolutely love the idea, but don't think that this is a less time consuming and cleaner alternative to standard composting. I'm currently venturing into worm composting, which does indeed speed up compost times compared to traditional composting, and costs about $50 to start. This can also be done indoor. That might be an alternative to some people.

mcdude9999


quality posts: 0 Private Messages mcdude9999
geekwench wrote:(words)



Which outdoor model would you recommend?

landscaper


quality posts: 0 Private Messages landscaper

I thought Woot was about getting a good deal. Seems like most times you can find it cheaper elsewhere.

geekwench


quality posts: 11 Private Messages geekwench
mcdude9999 wrote:Which outdoor model would you recommend?



This one. It's durable, easy to move, has survived two hurricanes (Irene and Sandy) without damage, and makes beautiful compost without my having to purchase/add so much as a single sawdust pellet.

The thing that really turned me off on Naturemills for good is the fact that if I have to purchase something to get it to make decent compost, it kind of defeats the purpose of composting, IMO. When I switched to the Envirocycle, with no change to my eating and composting habits, I got beautiful compost. To me, that says there's something funky (not just the smell) about the NatureMill.

geekwench


quality posts: 11 Private Messages geekwench
mastiff0 wrote:
After about a year, I gave up using them. With the lid closed I never noticed a smell, but put too much green in there and it can get real nasty when you open it. I found that the trick was to go heavy on brown ingredients (I ended up using sawdust I got from the saws at home depot). But if you added too much brown (to try to dry out some very smelly compost), you could make the mix too dry and dense, and the machine would clog.
The company's claim that you can generate compost in 2 weeks is false, or could only occur in perfect conditions. It will take some time to acculumate the scraps needed to fill the mill, and then additional time to balance the mixture with browns until your ratio and moisture level is looking good. And then you need to give the machine several weeks without adding anythign to work on this mixture. I would let my mix sit 1-2 months after no longer adding any greens, and I would still end up with dissapointing compost.



This is very consistent with my experiences with the NatureMill. It shouldn't be necessary to add as much brown material as the NatureMill seems to need in order to make decent compost, which I believed initially because of my gut instincts and later on the fact that with a traditional composter I was able to get fantastic compost with no odor, jamming, or purchase of "extra" brown material. I also got a significantly larger capacity for a lot less money, even with shipping.

Unless you produce (or obtain) about twice as much brown material as green, you may be better off with a traditional composter, with or without worms.

rosenbll


quality posts: 0 Private Messages rosenbll
geekwench wrote:I had a NatureMill for a couple of years. During that time, it tended to smell, jam, and the glue in the seams cracked. Part of this was my fault as I put a lot of "green" matter into it; part of it is just problems with the NatureMill. First, what the instructions tell you is "green" or "brown" waste is actually inaccurate- for the longest time, I couldn't figure out why my compost was wet and smelly, when I was using both kinds of material. When I finally got a plain-Jane composter, put it on my deck, and read the accompanying guide about composting, I realized that what I had thought was "brown" material because of the NatureMill cheat sheet actually isn't. Basically, you need wet [green] material and dry [brown] material, and some of what NatureMill says is brown is actually green. The NatureMill seems to need a lot of extra "brown" material in order to produce compost- my traditional composter doesn't suffer the same problems as the NatureMill did, despite my eating and composting habits being the same now as then. I now get sweet-smelling, rich, black compost that makes my plants gorgeous and takes no effort on my part. I just dump the scraps into it, roll it on its base, and get great compost.

I really wanted to like the NatureMill, but it just didn't work for me. (They also didn't honor the warranty when the sides split apart due to the glue failure, but that's beside the point.) For me, the NatureMill is a lot better in theory than in practice. Once in a blue moon I would get brown, crumbly compost from the NatureMill that looked a lot like shredded bark, but more often than not, I got nothing useful. The capacity is also quite small on these. If you eat a lot of vegetables and try to compost the scraps in a NatureMill, you might find that you need several of the mills to keep up, and you're going to need a lot of sawdust pellets if you eat a lot of vegetables.

For about a hundred bucks, I got a much better composter for my deck. If you can ONLY compost inside, then you might want to consider a NatureMill (or several). If you have any kind of outside space whatsoever, however, you're probably better off with a countertop canister inside and a traditional composter outside. In that respect, picking up one of the countertop compost collectors here might be worth doing. Note, however, that you will never get compost from one of the countertop units alone- they're just meant to collect your scraps so that you don't have to run out to the actual composter all the time.



Same issues. Never worked well. Motor burned out. Customer service gave me a run-around.

whatsawoot2


quality posts: 0 Private Messages whatsawoot2
rosenbll wrote:Same issues. Never worked well. Motor burned out. Customer service gave me a run-around.



I purchase one of these in Feb 2011 and it worked ok. A year ago the tray would started to stick on emptying, but I could live with that. The device would become confused about if it was full or not...but that wasn't a big problem. Then one day the unit died and when I checked the back of it a portion of the styrofoam had melted away, the back cover plate was melted and twisted, the insulation on the wires had melted off. See pictures http://www.flickr.com/photos/35973945@N06/sets/72157639562930044/ . Customer service at Nature Mill seemed to want to blame my house wiring (?) and advised me to replace the circuit board, use a surge suppressor. OK, did that and now the machine does not function at all. Actually the fan works, the motor will turn the rotor and empty, but the regular mixing does not occur. Customer service advised me again to use a surge suppressor and not run it on heavy duty, which is quite easy to do since it doesn’t run on any setting. Not really getting through to them, but they will sell me another circuit board. Hmmmmmmmmmm….like I said, the thing works well if it works for a time, but don’t count on their support for any, well, support.