Sources Of Composting Equipment

The Cohey Composter

An Ohio feedlot has effectively used the Cobey Composter for processing animal wastes. This unit is a diesel-powered, self-propelled machine which straddles the windrows.

Manufactured by: Eagle Crusher Co., Inc. Rt. 2, Box 72 Cation. OH 44833

The Easy Over Composter

Another composting machine was developed by the late Elton Schaeffer of Menno, South

Dakota "out of his own necessity." The machine has knives similar to those of a garden tiller, for lifting material up and back into the windrow. One-half of a compost windrow is taken with each pass of the machine, compared to the full windrow taken by larger machines. The operation, according to Schaeffer, is best accomplished with a hydrostatic-drive tractor for slower ground speed.

Schaeltcr's machine now has the commercial name of Easy Over, and is disiributed by:

General Corp. 322 S. 16th St. Philadelphia, PA 10102

The compost turning machine used on the Elton Schaeffer farm at Menno, S.D., for composting manures brought to the farm from the local livestock sales barn.

The compost turning machine used on the Elton Schaeffer farm at Menno, S.D., for composting manures brought to the farm from the local livestock sales barn.


Schaefier's composting ma-^¡Jfj chine has tines similar to ^ those of a garden tiller, to lift material up and back into the windrow.

Accelerator Compost Bin

This 34 by 'M> inch circular bin is made up of green, rigid, polyvinyl chloride interlocking and sliding panels. Waste is added through the top of the bin which has an inflatable cover to repel rain. Ventilating holes in the panels allow for ventilation while helping to hold in heat and insulate.

P.O. Box 237, 58 Buttonwood St.

New Hope, PA 18938


Dept. HB957, P.O. Box 12068 Omaha, NE 68112

Rotocrop Accelerator
Rotocrop Accelerator Rotocrop (U.S.A.), Inc.
Compost Drum Ventilation Holes
Compostumbter Gardening Naturally

The Earthmaker and Compostumbler

This compost bin is arranged on a stand which allows the drum to be rolled in place. It holds more than 14 bushels of raw, organic waste and retains liquids.

Gardening Naturally Rt, 102

Stockbridge, MA 012

Garden Way Mfg. Co., i-ic. 102nd St. & Ninth Ave. Troy. NY 12180

Global Services, Inc.

P.O. Box 185-A, College ark

Lewisburg, PA 17837

Hand-Operated Mini-Composter

The steel blades of this composter grind vegetable refuse, bush clippings, vines, roots, and weeds up to a y8 inch diameter. Measuring 15 by l0i/2 by 8 inches, it clamps to any flat surface. The cast-iron cutter is manually operated.

Sears, Roebuck k Co. Farm and Ranch Catalog


Dept. 123, 16129 Runnyinede VanN uys, CA 91406


Today's shredder-grinders are better than they've ever been—thanks largely to 20 years of organic gardening experience contributed and shared by a multitude of backyard growers. They're also more available in greater variety— some larger and more powerful, and some more compact—but all are designed to do a specific garuening job better.

The type of shredder you buy should depend on the kind of gardening operation you run, the size of your place, and the kind of organic materials you're going to feed through it. A good shredder will handle all kinds of garden wastes and residues without clogging, and it should be easy to move around, which means you can take the tool to the work—to the compost pile, the garden row, or the pile of wood chips that were dumped at the end of your driveway.

Today, there are two main types of shredders: the low center of gravity shredder-bagger with its big-mouth hopper, and the classic stand-up shredder-grinder designed to handle a greater volume and variety of materials.

Many combinations of accessories and functions are now available in one machine. The once-reluctant gas engine has been made a lot more dependable and easier to start. You can also find electric-powered shredders which are a lot quieter, easier to start, and also free of fumes. But they have to stay closer to the house and there is always the danger of playing around with electricity outdoors on the damp ground.

Many shredders, both low-profile baggers and the bigger grinders, are equipped with a chipping fixture which is usually a rotating knife that operates through a side slot and can

Roto Hoe Tiller

To keep a shredder from clogging, it's sometimes best to remove the screen, especially when shredding wet, soggy leaves.

handle branches up to two or even three inches thick. The MacKissic, Roto-Hoe and Lindig machines are three models with this feature.

Then there are the shredder accessories or attachments that fit onto a small riding tractor or a walking power unit that also functions as a rotary tiller, a mow«, a chippcr, a snowblower, or even a dozer blade.

Overloading any machine will result in jamming and stalling it. This especially holds true for the shredder whose job it is to chop up fibrous, damp, or wet materials and thsn eject them through a screen or grid. We recommend working with as large a screen as possible—the ¡Yi inch screen on the Lindig is excellent. Gii.son, VV-W, and Roto-Hoe offer a grating of rods or square roller bars which seem almost jam-proof. Another solution to the problem is the Winona's "wet mat rack" which encloses only half the shredding chamber.

If you're shredding with vc v wet, soggy,

To keep a shredder from clogging, it's sometimes best to remove the screen, especially when shredding wet, soggy leaves.

and rubbery leaves, here's a sure way to eliminate frustration and loss of time—remove the screen. Without it, the action of the cutters chops the leaves into a satisfactory aggregate which can be used cither for compost or mulch. If you're working with a shredder-bagget, you may find it speeds up the task to remove the bag. You'll also find it's a good idea to deposit the aggregate immediately in the compost pile or the planting row.

You may also find that a clutch, either centrifugal which depends upon the speed of the motor to actuate it, or one that is manually operated, helps avoid jams. This calls for alert operation of the machine, but it can save a lot of time spent clearing out the inside of your shredder.

Check the wheels on the shredders you are considering. They should have at least a pair, rugged and rubber-tired, and placed so they will comfortably and safely support the machine when you move it. Some of the larger models


Rotary Blades with Frame-Mounted Knives

Rotary Blades with Frame-Mounted Knives

Three-Cutter Rotary System
Hammer Mill Machine

Hammer mill Unit

Hammer mill Unit

Rotary blades that whirl through stationary knives mounted on the frame chop and fling the mass of particles out the side vent.

Another time-tested system it a series of knives rigidly mounted iri a revolving horizontal shaft. The ftibble plates and a screen tend to hold the material against the anting action of the blades.

Rigidly Mounted Knives on Horizontal Shaft come with three wheels, and some with four. Make sure the machine you are thinking of buy. ing handles easily and comfortably.

One of the most sensible gardening arrangements we've ever seen was at the Golden Acres Farm in lower Bucks County, Pennsylvania, where a double track of sturdy rails was erected over and along a series of compost bins. A king-sized shredder was mounted on the rails and traveled from bin to bin, depositing its aggregate as it went.

There are three or four basic systems for reducing and mixing your organic wastes. Hammer mill tempered steel flails revolve freely on a rotating shaft, and so have the ability to absorb shocks from hitting stones. There also seems to be a minimum of blockage in the mixing chamber caused by wet materials. Sets of hardened steel teeth or knives, fixed rigidly on a revolving shaft, work in combination with interior baffle plates and the bottom screen, which tend to keep the material in contact with the knives. The smaller shredder-bagger machines work with a series of two or three rotary blades similar to a lawn mower's. In some models, these whirling knives pass between stationary cutters that are part of the frame or chassis to achieve more complete cutting. The turbulence created by the rotary blades also whirls the aggregate out through the vent, which permits you to deposit it right where it is needed—either in the compost pile or in the planting row.

Any matter that is organic and compostable can he reduced to a workable aggregate or mass in your shredder. You will find that there is plenty of material on your home grounds to keep your shredder and you busy for a series of weekends, particularly in the late summer and fall. There are the weeds, the grass clippings, the crop residues, and the leaves. Add to these local benefits the contents of your garbage pail; it combines well with just about anything.

Next, there are the wood chips from the local road department, sawdust from the neighborhood lumberyard, and corncobs from the nearest feedmill (if you can get them ground). All of these varieties of cellulose are fine for mixing with the garbage. Working with un-ground corn cobs, though, can be tricky. The tough cobs have a habit of flying back up out of the hopper, right at your head. Some gardeners have reported that a thorough soaking (up to a week) of the cobs softens them and makes shredding easier.

No garden caore is easier or pleasanter than shredding dry, autumn leaves But if your leaves have wintered over and are tough, wet, and rubbery, feed them into the shredder in very small handfulls which are followed by dry sawdust, and again, be prepared to work without a screen.

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