Biostack still available

Camden, AR(Zone 8a)

I have read and read and read on some of the threads under the sticky on this forum trying to determine how I can create my own compost. I tried a compost "pile" several years back but never had any success from it. It appears as if the Biostack receives tons of rave reviews but I can't find anyone that has it for sale. Is it still available?

For the past few years, I have been saving my coffee grounds and egg shells and just add them directly into my flower beds. I would really like to try to get a full blown compost system going before spring so that I can utilize grass clippings and veggie scraps. I have access to plenty of shredded paper so that shouldn't be a problem but I do not have access to many leaves in the fall unless I start picking up other peoples bags of leaves................

If anyone has any info on the bio stack or plans for small homemade compost bins, I would appreciate the help. I have looked at the rotating bins but it appears from the reviews on the stickys that they are some of the least effective and most costly means to attempt to produce compost. I even wondered if I would do better with the vericomposting. I think I am a little overwhelmed after reading all those threads!! ^_^


Peachtree City, GA(Zone 8a)

I have a soil saver which is similar to the Biostack. If I could have afford one I would prefer one that I could turn.


Building a compost bin

Building a compost tumbler

John Kholer talking about different composters.

Garbage Can Tumber

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Soilsaver appears to be one large bin. The beauty of Biostack was the light weight sections that could be stacked in whatever height arrangement you like, and so you can easily turn the pile by rebuildng as they did in that first video linked above (cute video). Turning like that is a great way to take the usually dry and unrotted top layer and get it on the bottom. And you can usually harvest some finished compost from the bottom of the old pile.

I have an Earth Machine which is similar to Soilsaver. You can NEVER scoop compost from the little door on the bottom. Finished compost is very compact from the weight of what is above. So you can lift the whole bin off and set it to the side to turn it. Now the problem is the pile breaking up and falling over as you try to fork or scoop it into the now empty bin.

Only the most obsessive compulsive gardener will be able to balance greens and browns, air and moisture to create a perfect compost mix. The other 99.5 percent of us will have a somewhat passive pile. I take the easy route and do as I described- build a reasonable pile for a while, then occasionally turn it to another spot, harvest what you can, let the unfinished stuff keep going as you add new.

Camden, AR(Zone 8a)

Wow - I LOVE that Joraform..........well, everything EXCEPT the price. I can hear my husband now....HOW MANY bags of compost can you buy before you pay for that thing? LOL
And, he's right..... but it sure looks nice! I still can't find anywhere that actually SELLS the biostack! :(

Thanks for all the links. I really enjoyed them.

Peachtree City, GA(Zone 8a)

John might gets a lot of his stuff free for advertising it. He gets lots of views.

Camden, AR(Zone 8a)

I wondered that........

I know the website says it takes about 6 weeks to get compost produced. Anyone know if this is realistic with a tumbler composter? And, how much compost should I expect to receive?? I wondered on the small one by the time it breaks down, let's say you have it full to begin with do you end up with about 1/4 or 1/3 or 1/2 as compost after it has broken down? Just curious....

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

It all depends.

Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

It DOES depend on many things ...

Many things will shrink in size by 4 times or so, especially if it started out coarse and with lots of air space.

Usually soft things compost faster than hard, woody things.

Always, finely-chopped things compost faster than big coarse pieces.

They will compost faster if kept warm or hot and moist but not soggy.

They will compost faster if you have "enough greens". However, when you have too many greens, you might lose a little Nitrogen as the breakdown goes forward quickly and the N uptake is a little slower..

The WHOLE pile will be done faster if you turn it a few times, but you could use the center of a pile that you never turned, long before the last thing in the pile has decomposed.

If you're in a hurry, chop everything fairly small before adding it. Then, when it has partly composted, screen out the fine bits and use them even if they are not 100% finished.

If you're in a BIG hurry, chop things fine and then use them as mulch or turn them under, skipping the composting and risking more weed seeds and spreading plant pathogens. (If your heap never gets hot, it probably is not reducing the number of viable weed seeds and pathogens, anyway.)

Almost anything you do that winds up putting organic stuff onto or into the soil will benefit the soil a lot. Things will decompose slowly in a mulch layer, or fairly rapidly underground, if it has air.

The most that elaborate, careful composting can do is make the nutrients available to roots FASTER (and maybe reduce the number of weed seeds and pathogens, IF it gets hot and stays hot for several days). Oh, yes. Also, finished compost "looks better" than garbage and scraps laying on the soil surface. If you mulch instead of composting, you might want a few leaves scattered over the "sheet compost".

Camden, AR(Zone 8a)

Thanks! I appreciate the help!

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)


That's about the best "Composting 10" primer I've ever seen.

Well done!

Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

Thank you!

The other tip that I like to slip in, is for people who think the usual descriptions of "How To Compost" sound complicated or demanding.

Don't worry about composting for now, if it sounds like too much work. But start collecting the raw materials for compost! You can never have too much, and finding it is harder than composting it.

As you collect it, pile it up in a heap or a layer, or any old way.

The only problem is that, after a year or so, some of the raw materials will have disappeared.

That's not as bad as it sounds, because you can scoop this rich black stuff out of the center of the holding pile and spread it on your beds until you DO get around to "learning how to compost".

Camden, AR(Zone 8a)

LOL.... I have read some extremely complicated instructions for composting.......

Thanks for the help!

Camden, AR(Zone 8a)

LOL.... I have read some extremely complicated instructions for composting.......

And the really confusing part is when they start talking about all the proper ratios of greens to browns, etc. Piling I can handle, and I hope to purchase a biostack or rotating bin soon.

Thanks !

Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

Sure thing!

Every way to compost is a "right way".

I think that a lot of gardeners just plain love their compost heap. As with anything we love, we coddle it, play with it, find elaborate ways to interact with it ... and just LOVE telling other people about how WE compost.

In reality: everything organic rots.
If you pile it, it will rot.
(In fact, it will rot, whether you PILE it or not.)

The sad thing for far-gone compost-o-philes is that we really don't NEED to compost.

We could just spread the raw makings on top of the garden soil as a mulch ("sheet composting", which is not a reference to manure). It will rot slowly, and "slowly" is a drawback. But keeping moisture in the soil, shading the soil, and attracting worms to the surface are all good things.

We can dig a hole or a trench, and bury the raw makings ("spot composting", which has nothing to do with anyone's pet dog Spot). They will rot there, too, though it might go slowly and might have an anaerobic phase (fermentation) that might keep roots away until enough air diffuses in to bring it back to aerobic composting. Or bury small bunches shallowly and avoid anaerobic fermentation.

Technically, burying an unwanted spouse or persistent salesman underground IS probably "composting". I don't think that forms a valid legal defense, however. Maybe if the judge is an avid gardener ...

My SO tells me that there is now a lower-cost alternative to cremation. Yes, I may be able to have my body COMPOSTED and then the compost used in a garden! Once I set that up, I have a reason to look forward to dieing!

You can feed kitchen scraps to worms, pigs, chicken or cows, then spread the "castings" or manure on the soil. I'm sure that works fine, but is it exactly "composting"? It is if you age the manure or worm casting before mulching with them or turning them under the soil.

I think there are some people who grind their scraps fine and compost them INDOORS in a can, anaerobically, then pour the liquid brew onto soil (the "Bokashi method", and I probably have it wrong).

That works too, somehow, apparently ... but it offends my compost prejudices. Like the teen-age girl said in Last Picture Show In Texas, after losing her virginity:
"I don't think you DID it right!"

Camden, AR(Zone 8a)

Hilarious !! Although I don't think I am quite ready to sign up for being composted............


Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

Well, actually, I agree with you.

I'm like the little boy who was asked by a priest "don't you want to go to Heaven?"


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