I'm about to embark on my first compost-making experience. I could use some last-minute input/advice. Here's a little background so you kind of know where I'm at right now.
I've been "living" in the Soil & Composting forum (along with it's many links) for about the last two weeks & it's been more helpful than I can begin to tell you. The input from various members has been priceless. Now I'm just about to get started - finally.
My search for the BIOSTACK
Based on numerous recommendations & links I've spent the last week or so searching for either the Biostack or its replacement by Scott's. Unfortunately, I've had no luck at all. Phone calls confirmed that even places showing stock on their websites, didn't have any. I've also searched Craigs List & eBay & any other places I could think of for both new & used. I even clicked on a link for Alameda County, CA that supposedly had them for their residents (I live in Illinois). The very helpful lady that returned my call said they no longer even had any for their residents. Most dealers said it's been discontinued - boo!
So, after all that fruitless searching, I was left with several options:
(1) Tumbling-type bins (too small & too expensive for the size) or one of a zillion varieties of fixed bins or fenced piles.
(2) An offer by my creative & talented husband to build either a bin that worked on the concept of the Biostack (out of a composite, rather than wood, so it wouldn't rot) or an open-style single or double bin. Unfortunately, he doesn't have a lot of spare time & lots of projects going so neither one would happen immediately. I"ve even considered a home-made "tumbler", but decided against it, at least for now.
(3) A couple of days ago I discovered that Sam's Club (I'm not a member) has a "fixed-type" bin (The "Soil Saver") for only $39.88 (they usually go for much more). It's not the ideal bin in that I know it won't be the easiest to aerate, but it does hold 11 cu. ft, is nice & neat and I could start right away. With their $15.00 for 15 week membership promo it would cost less than $60.00. If I find it isn't ideal, I can change at a later date, but still get my feet wet right away.
OK - with all that background out of the way I was hoping I could get some last minute advice to help me make this endeavor a success.
Here are a few things that came to mind:
(1) First of all, do I need a thermometer right away or can I just start making compost?
(2) Any suggestions for my very first binfull? Any & all will be greatly appreciated.
(3) I realize that the more you stir, the hotter the pile & the faster the compost, but if regular stirring becomes an issue with this new bin, will I still get compost?
If I come up with more "newbie" questions, I'll post them.
Thanks to everyone for all of the help you've already given me!!!!