Trash Can Composting is EASY!

Live in an urban environment? Can’t have a compost pile? Let the power of the sun, and the efficiency of a trash can help you make great organic compost for your garden without the fuss!
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Today’s video highlights the process of composting distillery waste.
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40 thoughts on “Trash Can Composting is EASY!”


  2. Thanks for this video. I constructed a little compost bin out of pallets out the back of my house, I was so proud of it, but my neighbours have just deconstructed it and left me with a little pile of lumber 🙁 I will try this method instead and hopefully everyone will be happy with this compromise. Maybe I'll use the lumber to make raised beds 🙂 But thanks for addressing the urban gardening etiquette issue. The challenge is very real!

  3. Using urine in compost is something I have heard is a good thing, but wouldn't it depend on the health of the person? I once knew a guy who was uber healthy and grew him own vegetables, a vegan, healthiest person I know and he used urine and humanure in his garden. He took vitamins like candy. His garden was amazing looking. However, this was years ago, he may now be 80 years old, on all kinds of meds for all kinds of ailments which would affect his urine. I haven't heard of him or his whereabouts in at least 30 years, so I don't know if his health obsession was just because he had a crush on Jane Fonda or what. But, at the time, he had one awesome looking garden.

  4. If you live in an apartment, you may have some college kids who will use your composter as their beer can disposal. I used to live in some apartments close to the college and I would have to drive my trash bags over to my parents' house because my trash cans were always full of beer cans and pizza boxes. So, you might need to keep an eye on it daily or maybe paint "COMPOST ONLY" on top. Of course, that probably won't help either. My trash can had "Apt. 3" on it, but it was always full of beer cans and pizza boxes. I tried to get the landlord to help and even the police because, at the time, I lived in a dry county, but nope, no one cared. They just wanted to dispose of their trash.

  5. my grass is weed infested. so my grass clipping likely has weed seeds mixed in. Would you use this in your compost pile?

  6. I love your Video's! I also live in Mi and find your tips and information so helpful being we are in the same state. 🙂 My question about composting involves using leaves, I heard that only certain leaves should be used, is this true? We have a variety of trees in my yard and would hate to "separate" them in the fall. Thank you in advance and keep the video's coming! 🙂

  7. when you say coffee grounds, do you mean fresh or used coffee grounds. I just want to be sure. I'm sort of learning as I go here in New England. I am determined to get to where I can have such a great crop some year that I can donate a bunch to homeless as well as canning veggies for my own use!!!! Thank you for all your knowledge!!!! I'm hoping to see something on worm castings one of these days, or maybe I just missed where you already posted on the subject!!!!

  8. I have been composting just my kitchen waste and my trash bin has holes on the sides and a big hole under. Also, I use enzymes to hasten the decomposition. I don't include because you can actually just leave them around the trees and will eventually rot.
    Anyway because of this I have beautiful compost

  9. do you have holes on the bottom for air and or dripping? thank you for all your advice, I learned alot.

  10. Some day someone will reveal how 'they' keep racoons out of the compost, not using an actual tumbler.

  11. I join the chorus of “What’s the point?” The brandy slop has negative economic value to you. It’s not helping your compost you’re having to work around it to add it into the pile. (Why are you even composting on an industrial scale? Do you even have a business plan? Surely someone who runs a composting business full time could more effectively and sustainably make compost than you can?). Without economic value you will lose the farm and no longer be able to do regenerative agriculture. Sending the brandy slop to a landfill is a neutral because it’s not toxic or dangerous, and the landfill is going to be there regardless. We have more than enough landfill space, it’s the management of toxins that’s a problem and that’s not a concern here. There’s the inefficiency of trucking waste to a landfill but you’re trucking it regardless. Conclusion: you ought to stop wasting time, money, energy, and resources and just pay to get the garbage taken out. Homework: do a blog post where you cost out how much doing this is saving you vs the full opportunity cost.

    To be clear, I am not saying making a buck is the primary goal of regenerative agriculture. I am saying those of us who practice regenerative agriculture have a responsibility to pursue economic viability at all times, because the alternative is you lose the land, it gets bought by corporate ag and turned into a CAFO. What you are doing here, as you have presented it…seems irresponsible.

  12. I am a 17 year old with a passion for farming. Your videos about farming are very inspiring and have helped me learn how to deal with certain issues and taught me some useful things. I hope to run a farm just like yours, I have started a small farm where I do pigs, meat chickens, apple trees, and hydroponic tomatoes naturally with no excessive spraying or chemicals or drugs. I have been doing this for 4 years now and it has been very fun I am amazed at what I am capable of now compared to when I started, all thanks to the "School of Hard Knocks". The reason I am fundraising is I have just outgrown my budget. No one in my family have any ties to farming which makes thing even more difficult. I have saved every penny and re-invested it back into my own farm, I sold my first truck to invest in my own farm. I am at the point now where I have enough experience I can run a farm but my dreams have just outgrown my money. Any donations received will go to purchase a greenhouse that is 30X100. I have dreamed about this for a few years now and I have a plan of exactly what I want to build. I have cleared a piece of land by hand that my father let me use. If I could reach my goal it would mean the world to me. I could then use my earnings to start saving for college. Any Donations at all would be greatly appreciated!

  13. See I'm wondering if you could get barrels and fill about half with ground grain like corn then add the slop. Let it sit and mix. Then feed out. I know here in Wisconsin we use corn distillers grain from the ethanol plant for a protein source. Typicall mix is oats, corn and distillers. Might wanna experiment with the slop.

  14. Hey John, I love your videos! I've noticed some comments about using the byproduct of the distillery and the brewery as animal feed. A lot of companies sell their byproduct as feed. I sell the feed for one of them. Probably the most literature available is on spent brewers grains or distiller grains done by different universities. The pear mash has to have a ton of nutritional value as well. It would be awesome to see it incorporated into the pig diet then see your animals speed up the composting and spread it on your land for you as you move them around.

    Ps. You Rock! Keep it up.

  15. You could 'plumb' all three ICB totes inline with a single manifold and run it to a discharge hose. No tractor needed until you turn the compost pile. You could also direct spread it on the field using the same setup if it's dry enough.

  16. I think its amazing you can see pears full circle.  You go from tree to product back into the earth via compost.  Its awesome and I love it!

  17. Wait, I am a bit confused. You have your own brewery and distillery, but then are also getting the "slop" from another distillery nearby? Is that just to up your own output of compost?

    Or did you say you get the "slop", ferment it in your distillery, and then dump it out? I'm trying to figure out the relevance of the other distillery off your property.

  18. The alcohol has been distilled off. It could probably be used in small quantities for making fermented feeds for pigs and chickens. John is dealing with a thousand or more gallons at one time. He mentioned in another video that he does offer his spent brewery grains to the pigs, which evidently they don't get all that excited about. I found that surprising as the brewery I ran, we gave our spent grains to a pig farmer. He said his pigs loved them. Composting as he does is likely his most expedient use of these resources.

  19. Does the sludge smell bad? Or does it smell like sweet fruit? A great lesson of managing waste. ~Smile!

  20. One of the tenets of Permaculture is to utilize the waste of one system to become the input of another.
    It almost seems like a waste to use this product in your compost piles because, as you mentioned, it makes the piles too wet. It would be interesting to compare the effects against a control group for every application you find for this product.
    I know my chickens, ducks and geese love to eat fermented fruit falls; I suspect pigs do, too. It also seems like your fruit sludge is very like a viscous compost tea that would benefit your pastures if you had a way to apply it to your fields, and probably to your woods.

    I agree with Jan Broekhuizen below – you must track this activity closely; handling it is a huge outlay of time and resources, especially if you don't have a clearly beneficial way to manage it.

  21. Check out Hemp Inc in North Carolina. They are in production largest in NAmerica. Farmers netted 1000.00 per acre for fibre only doesn't include 1800 gallons of hempanol and 6 tons of seed protein better than fish in omega 3. Find an old decorticator and make your own hemp based products. 50,000. Great ad to trhe farm and story.

  22. I would advise to create a small calculation for this task you're doing. It may sound over the top, but you are spending time, gas (fuel) and taking over a cost center for the Distillery. Usually disposing of waste isn't a cheap item on the list. The farm (you) is saving the Distillery some money there. So it may sound like a 'internal transaction' as you are 1 big holding, but you should still do it. The farm is using resources to resolve something at the distillery. Only with these numbers and the result of the compost impact you can make a clean decision if you want to keep driving around the slush.

  23. Have you tried to spray the slop on your pasture as organic fertilizer? Feed the grass to feed the chickens.

  24. You may be better off doing what Calvados does and that's grind then press the fruit before fermentation this would give you a better waste product that you could feed the pigs.

  25. you can capture more value by adding your nutrient and protein rich slurry to simple grass silage.This is then feed to animals. The animals then add value through their normal methods but at reduced food cost. they create manure which is then composted.

  26. I can literally see the gears turning in your brain. lol My husband is a shift supervisor at an ethanol plant. The "leftovers" from the corn called DDG's is trucked out and used by farmers for feed. My husband would really appreciate this distillery talk as the process of making ethanol is kinda similar. 😉

  27. Have you considered directly applying theses fluids to your farm. Like rigging up a tube to flow it out one side as you drive your tractor through the hop yard or orchard? Thanks for sharing. All those small things really add up the time.

  28. John better weight a gallon of slop, be closer to 10# , water is 8.34 # gallon. We had a sludge press that extracted 95-97 % of the water, that was 11-12# per gallon.
    Could raise lots of pigs off that waste too, south of here many micro brewing. Farms get the waste once a week n feed to the pigs , normally 18-20% protein . The pigs are pastured , they feed a portion every day & they balance # of pigs to slop so in 6 days it's gone. Give a mineral supplements once a week. The winter the slop would be a issue, the grains not so much.
    So compost tru winter , feed in summer. Look at your choices . Would cut feed cost down, time is time , where you want to spend it ? If those press where cheaper, that be way to go. The extracted water was sent in to sewage system. The cakes as where called where fairly like grain once busted up from dropping out of press.

  29. Why not feed it to the pigs?

    I live near Yuengling brewery here in PA and all of their spent grains go to a local dairy for the cows.

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