A Rind Is a Terrible Thing to Waste

| 8/27/2012 4:04:21 PM

Solar Cone above groundGrowing and preparing one's own food is for many of us a lifestyle, not a hobby. We're committed to the principles of sound homestead ecology-cycling the nutrients in our food through our bodies and those in our food scraps back into production. There are myriad ways to recycle these organic treasures. Composting them in an active pile comes to mind first. Sheet composting them by applying them to the soil and covering with mulch works well. Feeding them to domestic animals, even and especially red wiggler worms is a great answer. Dumping the garbage "on the back side" (of the farm) for wild animals is pretty common and works well enough if there's plenty of space.

These solutions won't work for everyone. Neighborhood associations may prohibit composting. Space may be limited. Large families may generate too much waste for their situation and only a few of us live where "wet waste" is collected at the curb, although municipal composting of food scraps is growing rapidly. So if you're in one of those "can't compost" situations and still want to recycle your kitchen scraps, what can you do?

Enter two solutions that I've run into as I've attended composting conferences over the years. The first is the Solar Cone. This is a thigh-high green plastic cone with a porous plastic  bottom section that is buried.


Solar Cone installedTo use the Solar Cone you simply deposit any and all types of food scraps ( yes, meat, too) in the cone and close the lid. You never have to add "browns" such as leaves because the unit doesn't make compost. The Solar cone is classified as a food waste digester so it's working process is not composting. Instead the mostly-liquid waste rots below the ground's surface forming a tea that is good for plants.  

My experience is that the Solar Cone has a big capacity for food scraps. It might be a good idea to put yours in an area of permanent plantings where the roots can go deep to collect the moisture and nutrients that are down by the basket. Also, though there is a smell inside the cone when you open it to add more scraps, outside there is NO odor. Check with Solar Cone for more information about using and installing the product. It just might be your answer to the need to recycle food scraps. The second device is called the BioPod Plus. It is the brainchild of entrepreneur Robert Olivier.

8/29/2012 5:16:25 PM

I love the Solar Cone idea. I do both Bokashi and Vermicomposting, and they both work well for me. The Solar Cone looks extremely easy though~

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