The Green Johanna is here!

Today has been another of those joyous occasions, mingled with a touch of sadness.

Once rush hour was over, I was eager to pick up the Green Johanna hot composting bin this morning and then wasted no time in assembling it. There weren’t any clear instructions on how to do this but it was easy enough to work out that each of the four pieces which constitute the body of the bin needed to be screwed in place, once they had been positioned. Then the two hatch doors for getting compost out were slotted into their grooves.

The base has holes in the bottom and round the sides, so that air can get in but hopefully not rats. Equally, the lid when locked in place has air inlets, so that the internal temperature of the bin can be controlled to some extent.

Don’t the autumnal leaves on the hazel and currant bushes look lovely?

I layered the bottom of the bin with cardboard and then emptied my last two bokashi bins into it. This is where the sadness comes in: filling up the bokashi and regularly draining the liquid has become such a part of my life over the last five years.

At the same time, I will be glad to have more of my kitchen back…. paint pots on the kitchen floor can now go in a cupboard rather than by the washing machine. And while we are used to any possible smell from the bins, it will be good to know that there won’t be any from now on.

I am still a little concerned about rats. Having said above that the Green Johanna has an enclosed body, the bokashi solids have such a strong smell, I would expect the rats to want to get inside if they can. So, since rats are cautious creatures, I’m hoping the contents of the new compost bin may have decomposed enough not to attract them by the time they decide it might be safe to do so.

In any case, I smothered the food contents of the bin with compost from the bottom of the dalek. This is full of red worms, which should have a field day in their new home, as long as it doesn’t get too warm for them.

Can’t imagine that happening any time soon, though. It’s about 7 degrees C at the moment. But I got the work done before the now ubiquitous rain set in and the wind started to blow.

About Helen

I have always been interesting in living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and used to do what I could. Now, I have come to realise that we have reached such a point in terms of environmental degradation that it is more important - perhaps - to focus on building resilience. I therefore do as much as I can to reuse, grow my own and encourage a supportive community, for example. I also keep reading and learning all the time.
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8 Responses to The Green Johanna is here!

  1. Clare Pooley says:

    I will be very interested in how you get on with your Green Johanna. I have been trying to convince my husband into getting one but he is very nervous about rats in the compost as we get them there despite not putting anything other than green waste in our bins. How large are the air holes?

    • Helen says:

      The air holes are perhaps half a centimetre in diameter – too small for rat ingress but they will of course let smells out.

      I never had a rat problem till I had the bokashi – even when rats got into my next door neighbour’s house – so I am surprised they find your green waste so attractive. Was it more in winter that they used to appear?

      • Clare Pooley says:

        We found them there in winter and summer. Until we put the bin onto hard-standing they used to dig tunnels underneath and make nests in the waste. We probably didn’t check often enough to see if the bin was too dry. We put vegetable peelings and rotten fruit in the compost bins and they probably eat those too. Since standing the bin on flagstones they haven’t found their way in and despite what people say we still get plenty of brandling worms in the bin.

  2. I’m also very interested to hear how you go with Green Johanna! Interesting name, this Johanna. Following with interest 🙂

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