Permaculture Magazine Reviews the HotBin Composter

John Adams and Maddy Harland

Permaculture Magazine

Over the years I have tried most ways of making compost but I have never found one that really suited my requirements until Maddy showed me her Hotbin. I was really impressed that it worked even in winter, how quickly it made compost (about 90 days) and that it could even cope with cooked food scraps. I just had to have one.

Permaculture Reviews HotBin Composting"My seed and potting compost supplies are now entirely home made."

“I was cruel to my Hotbin, and sited it in a shady narrow path conveniently by my back door. If it could get hot there and compost all year round, it could work anywhere.

I mainly use it for composting kitchen waste (cooked and uncooked) and add torn newspaper to ensure I have enough bulk (carbon) and air in the mix. I have tried adding cardboard and found even this all but disappeared within a couple of weeks.

It copes with grass cuttings too but they do need to be mixed into the other material. I have also successfully composted our quota of autumn leaves.

The Hotbin certainly gets hot. Last summer it was positively thrumming (up to 60ºC). There is never any smell from the bin and the process is fast. There were also no flies as their eggs cannot survive the heat in the bin. I have a good layer of compost at the bottom of the bin waiting for the seed sowing season. It has composted so hot, that I know there will be no viable weed seeds in it. I will remove it before winter as the bin needs a good airflow to prevent it ‘stalling’ (going cold). Like a fire, it needs oxygen to work well.

I need to keep the compost hot (40ºC) as we enter winter, so I’ll be paying particular attention to the mix of bulk with kitchen waste and the size of any cuttings. It is a little more trouble than a normal system but the results are so good, it’s worth it. My seed and potting compost supplies are now entirely home made.”

We both love this product so much we have added it for purchase to our Green Shopping catalogue.

What is Permaculture?

Permaculture magazine describes permaculture as: encouraging us to be resourceful and self-reliant. It is not a dogma or a religion but an ecological design system which helps us find solutions to the many problems facing us - both locally and globally.

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