Composter – A Dirty way to Keep the Earth Clean

Composter – A Dirty way to Keep the Earth Clean

Do I Need a Composter?

Home gardening has come back into style after a few decades of falling out of favor. Composting is a big part of home gardening. Compost is a nutrient-rich product that is created from decomposed organic matter. It can be purchased at the local garden supply center, but it’s simple and inexpensive to make it at home. Transform your kitchen scraps and yard waste into ‘black gold’ known as compost using a device called a composter. Several different styles are on the market, read through these tips and purchase the one that best suits your gardening needs.

How Do Composters Work?

Decomposing matter needs oxygen in order to fully decompose and turn into compost. A composting tumbler has a crank handle on it so you can turn it regularly and allow air flow inside of the tumbler. The organic matter inside gets oxygenated with each turn of the hand crank. The oxygen fuels the microbial activity and causes the matter to heat up inside the tumbler and decompose more rapidly. A quick turn of the handle every day or two will accelerate the decomposition process and transform waste into usable garden fertilizer in just a few weeks.

Benefits of Having a Composter

A composter benefits the planet by keeping waste out of the landfill. Instead of dumping usable food scraps, grass clipping, leaves and small twigs into the local landfill and having it sit there for years before it decomposes, recycle it quickly at home for garden use. Compost is an organic fertilizer that will keep plants fed all summer. It can be used in containers, in-ground vegetable gardens and flower gardens. It’s rich in nutrients and will give developing plants instant energy for growing deep roots and strong stems. Organic compost is a natural slow-release fertilizer that will continue feeding plants all summer so the they can produce more vegetables, fruits and flowers. Compost also makes an excellent mulch for plants. It prevents weed growth, helps soil retain moisture and will slowly decompose and increase soil nutrients. Soil structure is improved with the use of compost. It can change heavy clay, soggy soil or barren soil into fertile soil suitable for growing food. It will also help sandy soil retain moisture, promote aeration and create an underground sub-culture that promotes diverse microbial activity that will benefit plants.

Making your own organic plant food with a composter will help keep chemicals out of the soil and local water system. Any chemical used in the soil or on plants will seep into the soil and eventually find its way to the nearest water source. The chemical-laden water will follow a pathway that will lead it right back into your home in the form of tap water. Having a composter benefits you by helping to provide you with chemical-free food, water and soil.

What is the History of Composters?

Composting animal manure and straw has been around since ancient times in Rome, Greece and Israel. Evidence has been discovered that our continent employed the art of composting since the earliest times of Native Americans and European settlers. While not done in the style of composters we have available to us today, our forefathers heaped organic matter together and turned it by hand with a pitch fork until it decomposed enough to be used in the garden. Compost piles with hand-turning typically takes months to decompose, tumblers create usable compost from organic waste in just weeks. The process of composting remains similar today as it did for our forefathers, but is much easier and faster for the modern gardener.

Chemicals came to town by the early twentieth century and farmers began to purchase chemical fertilizers and forgo the making of compost. Organic farming practices never completely ceased, but they fell out of the limelight, replaced by chemical products that were easier to obtain and had a guaranteed analysis. It would take years to discover the toll those chemicals would take on the planet and those living on the planet. As the water, soil and air pollution caused by garden chemicals came to light, so did related health issues. Some food allergies were not caused by the food itself, but rather from the chemical fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides used to grow the food. Whatever is in the soil where food crops are grown is absorbed by the plant and trace amounts will be in the food. The same is true for any chemical sprayed on the plant. These harmful chemicals, whether in the soil water, air or food, also have a cumulative effect in the body and can impact our health by contributing to the development of diseases. This can occur to both human and animal. Birth defects, cancer, allergies and many other conditions can be connected to chemicals used in the food growing process. Pollution to our planet and potential harm to our health has created a resurgence of the organic ways of life. Sustainable, healthy garden practices are gaining in popularity across the globe, and a home composter can help in the practice of organic gardening.

Available Composter Options

There are many sizes and styles to choose from, and one will be right for your composting needs. To help decide which option is right for you, consider the amount of waste you generate, how large your garden is and how much available space you have for a composter. A small apartment for two with a container garden would be well-suited to a kitchen composter that can fit in a cabinet or one that takes up no more room than a standard kitchen trash bin. Some kitchen composters are stylish and designed to blend in with kitchen decor, like a stainless steel countertop model. Don’t worry about odor, when composting is done correctly, there is no odor.

Large organic farms may need a three-bin composter that is 12-15 feet in length and can hold massive amounts of organic waste. Each of the three bins holds waste material that is in different stages of decomposition. The first bin holds a newly created pile of raw waste material; the second bin holds partially decomposed material and the last bin holds the material that is in the final stages of composting. Organic material is turn either by an electrical crank or by hand with a pitch fork, and is material is moved from one bin to another during the composting process.

A commonly used composter option for home gardeners is one that holds about 10 bushels of organic matter, is easy to turn with an exterior handle and transforms waste in usable compost in a few weeks. Called compost tumblers, some of these styles have metal drums and some have plastic and are on attached legs that places the bin up to about waist-high. Place all the raw, organic material inside the tumbler drum, moisten it as needed, and give it a few turns every couple of days to keep the organic matter aerated and well mixed.

Compost tumblers also come in smaller sizes. Whatever option or size you select, look for one that is easy to load and unload, has a non-stick interior and provides an easy method of turning the organic matter inside.

Sewing Machines

Sewing Machines

Sewing machines! What would the world be like without them? “Invented” by Thomas Saint during the first wave of Industrial Revolution to hit the world in 1790, they have gone some way to drastically improving the ease of sewing and stitching cloth pieces together.

Since those heady days when sewing machines were first introduced to relieve the difficulty of hand-stitching materials from start to finish, they have come a long way. Without them, it’s hard to say just how many of your fancy wears you’d have at your disposal right now. We can also only imagine just how expensive the available few will be, and perhaps how stylistically bland they would be.

So, what is a sewing machine? How does it operate? What features should you look out for when trying to get one for yourself? Let’s delve deeper!

Sewing Machines – What are they?

Sewing machines are an essential tool in most homes, so the answer to this question shouldn’t be too difficult. The simple – and obvious – answer to the above question is that sewing machines are machines that sew. For quite a long time, sewing machines were largely mechanical in nature. These machines were based on the combination of components like cranks and cams, gears, and wheels.

Over time, in the 19th century, the machines shifted from mechanical operation to electrical power, while maintaining largely the same operational structure. Today, modern sewing machines are much more advanced, with electronic and computerized sewing machines which run on microchips more readily available.
Sewing machines make it easier for individuals to craft their own products from fabric. From clothing to home décor items like curtains, decorative pillows, beddings, napkins, furniture covers, etc. everything that requires stitched seams goes under a sewing machine. As much as they could be used for “creation”, they could also be used to mend cloth items, embroidery, and quilting.

While the invention of sewing machines is sometimes credited to the Englishman Thomas Saint, they have a more complex history than that would suggest. Like cars and computers, they have received various notable inputs over the years from many different individuals.

How do Sewing Machines Work?

Sewing machines are rather complex, despite their small frames. With so many moving parts cramped into the tiny space afforded, they have a complex operational mechanism that many have struggled to illustrate. To keep it simple, though, a sewing machine is built around an electric motor – the size of which may be similar to the one found in your lawn mower. This motor works in your place to push a tiny needle through the complex layers of fabric.

The electric motor in a modern sewing machine drives three mechanisms that all work together. A mixture of cranks and cams power the “feed dog”, a set of teeth that move up and down beneath the needle and the “presser foot” which holds the material in position. While one of these mechanisms pushes the feed dog up and down, the other slides it back and forth. Another mechanism entirely keeps the needle moving back and forth, while the last mechanism turns the “shuttle” and “hook”.

Typically, the sewing machine is run based on the combination of all four mechanisms which work to keep the threaded needle moving and your material sliding firmly across the sewing area. With each needle puncture, the thread is fed through the fabric, creating a loop for the next stitch. With each movement, the needle tightens the thread around the loop, and creates another – to make for a firm, sturdy stitch.

Benefits of Sewing Machine

Whether you are a professional tailor or not, there are many reasons why you may want to keep a sewing machine in your home. Some include,

  • Sew your own clothes to your taste
  • Repair worn out or torn clothes
  • Re-design old wears
  • Save money that would otherwise be spent on the tailor

Enjoy the therapeutic and relaxing benefits of sewing

Types of Sewing Machines

Answering the question of the available types of sewing machine will largely depend on context. While it is mostly categorized based on their mode of operation, it is sometimes also categorized based on its functionality. Here we try to form a slight merger of both characteristics to create a sort of balance – meaning some sewing machines may belong to more than one category.

  1. Mechanical/Manual: Mechanical sewing machines are so known for the role of human effort in their operation. You would have to control most of its parts by yourself, from threading all needles, to actually engaging the stitching process through the foot pedal or hand control.
  2. Electronic: While beginners may love the manual system, expert tailor would much prefer the electronic machine. It boasts more features than its manual counterpart – combining some mechanical characteristics with some computerized features – including a built-in needle threader, auto tripping bobbin, at least 7 in-built stitch functions, etc.
  3. Computerized: For a much larger design option pool (with internet connectivity) and in-built stitch capability (between 50 and 200), you would have to turn to the computerized sewing machine. It features multiple needles and multiple spinners for different thread colors, and can be used for sewing, embroidering, quilting, etc. They are mostly industrial grade machines for expert use.
  4. Embroidery: Embroidery sewing machines are used specifically to design embroidery patterns on fabrics. These machines feature a variety of patterns which can be sewed into a fabric, and are mostly computerized or electronic in nature.

Overlocker: An “overlocker” or overlock sewing machine is used to stitch the edge of one or more pieces of clothing. It is basically applied on the seams of clothing to make sure they are smooth and professional. The machine is mostly used in the professional world for edging fabrics like clothing, napkins, curtains, etc., and can be used to create single or multi-threaded overlock stitches.