User Guide

Assemble your Earthmaker
No tools required!

Easily assembled by one person.
Assembly Instructions and a User Guide will be supplied with your Earthmaker.

Assembly Instructions - PDF format
Assembly Instructions in PowerPoint format

You don't need a degree in composting
Unlike tumblers (which need daily turning) and single bins (which should be regularly mixed and aerated) Earthmaker gets on with the job with minimal effort on your part. Just move material through about once a month.  
     It is not essential to read this guide for successful composting, but it is important to set your Earthmaker up properly.

User Guide - PDF format

Choose a site
When you have assembled your Earthmaker it can be easily moved to a suitable site. PROPER SITING IS IMPORTANT.
Position your Earthmaker conveniently in relation to your kitchen.
Choose a place shaded from hot midday sun. While radiant heat warms the top and assists composting, too much heat can soften the plastic and reduce its structural integrity.
Make a LEVEL site approximately one metre in diameter. A firm, FLAT base of brick, paving slabs, timber slats, grass, soil or concrete with good drainage is required. If the surface is not exactly level ensure the Earthmaker is leaning backwards not forwards.
Planting herbs around the base is both attractive and useful

(Do not attempt to re-site the Earthmaker when it is full – empty it first.)

 

Feed your Earthmaker
From the garden

 

Use grass cuttings, leaves (preferably dry), weeds* and tree trimmings. If possible use a shredder or a mower to mince up larger pieces. NB: Avoid weed killer containing Chlopyralid on material to be composted - the resulting compost may distort some plants.

Large amounts of grass cuttings all at once can become slimy. Store excess grass in a simple bin alongside, preferably with dry leaves, and use it to layer over kitchen waste as it is added. Layering over in this way reduces the attraction of flying insects to putrescent kitchen waste.

If you have no lawns use leaves, seaweed, twigs, weeds* and/or pruning waste. Toxic chemicals must be avoided. Do not add heavy materials like soil, manure or mature compost - they have already broken down.

It is important to add carbon (dry leaves, twigs) to balance the nitrogen from grass clippings and vegetable scraps. Coffee grounds, shredded paper, straw, cold ashes, untreated sawdust and vacuum cleaner dust are also sources of carbon.

*Weed bulbs like oxalis and some seeds (e.g. tomato and pumpkin) may germinate. Place them in a black garden bag and leave it in hot sun for a few weeks to sterilise before feeding them to your Earthmaker.

 


From the kitchen

Use vegetable and fruit scraps (chopping them up aids ‘digestion’). Coffee grounds, tea bags, vacuum cleaner dust, paper kitchen towels are also suitable ingredients. Avoid putting meat or fatty foods in your composter – they attract rodents and other unwanted wildlife.

While anything organic can be fed to your Earthmaker, avoid large helpings of any one type - varied diet, well chopped and mixed, works best. Lining your scrap bin with newspaper will make it easier to empty and the paper adds carbon to the mix.

Important: Do not overload the top chamber when you first start. Do not allow material to become dense and heavy before moving it through.

 

 

Start the process

[1] Begin by filling the top chamber with food scraps and garden waste. The mixture will heat up and naturally compact down over a few days. Add the food scraps when you need to – covering them with lawn clippings and /or dry leaves is a good idea. Add garden waste when it suits – ‘brown’ material adds carbon.

[2] Mixing and stirring material in the top chamber can be useful. Use the Push-Pull-Tool (PPT) carefully – vigorous action may dislodge shelves. Do not overload the top chamber. NB: Do not expect material to turn into compost in the top chamber – Earthmaking is a three-stage process!

[3] EVERY MONTH or so remove the Pull-out Panel and gently push material down into the middle chamber. Start with the material in the front. Some people like to introduce composting worms but worms usually find their own way into the material at all levels. Replace the Pull-out Panel.

Continue the process

[4] Before moving material down from the top again it will be necessary to clear the middle chamber. Use the PPT through the round access hole above the door opening to push material to the back so it falls down to the bottom chamber. When your Earthmaker has been in operation for a few months, micro-organisms and worms (which find their way into the material naturally) will be established in the grooves in the shelves. Do not wash the shelves clean as the older matter serves accelerates the process.

 

[5] Before clearing the middle chamber, pull the mulch/compost in the bottom chamber through to the front using the PPT. Remove compost with a long handled shovel. Take care not to damage the lower shelf. Place compost directly on the garden or around shrubs, or dig in for new planting. There should be plenty of healthy earthworms. If too rich for new seedlings, dilute with potting mix or sand /soil.

The Environmental Protection Agency states that aerobic compost acts as a carbon sink - so spreading your Earthmaker compost will reduce your carbon footprint!