Composting with My Girl, Green Johanna

Composting with My Girl, Green Johanna

Jul 14, 2010 |  by  |  Composting, On the Homestead  |  Share

Our family makes a lot of food waste. Some is the forgetful kind, you know those baby greens you planned to use in a salad you planned to make but never quite got around to it. So they sit in the fridge and turn to baby green juice. Not pretty. The rest of our food scraps are legit – peels, rinds, and other inedible portions of various fruits and vegetables, along with some uneaten leftovers that have made their way to the food graveyard. This combination of legitimate and illegitimate food waste can total as much as 15-30% of our household trash. And there’s just no need for all of that to end up in a landfill somewhere creating nasty methane gas, especially when the alternative is rich humus. No, not the stuff you eat with pita bread – HUMUS, that lovely, dark organic matter that’s the result of a compost pile that’s been carefully tended over time. The stuff full of delicious nutrients (if you’re a plant) that holds water like a sponge and helps aerate the soil by causing soil particles to clump together. This is the holy grail of gardening, the fountain of youth, the field of dreams. You get the point.

Researching Compost Bins

It wasn’t long after conducting proper research on the web to find the composting technique and bin most suitable for our environment, I came across the Green Johanna Chronicles blog. After reading a few entries I knew right away that an enclosed, hot composting system was right for our needs and I set my sights on getting a Green Johanna for our home. Now in a different, more suburb-like setting, I would lean toward an open air style of composting. It would certainly be cheaper. But there are far too many critters that come out after dark around here that would make quick work of a pile of food scraps even if it was covered with some soil, twigs or other brown materials. The raccoons are extra clever and have a habit of getting into anything laying around outside – food or not. So our particular situation demanded an enclosed bin that would keep out unwanted scavengers. Another reason the Green Johanna appealed to us is that any kind of food waste can be tossed in. Even food that ordinarily isn’t acceptable in most compost piles like, meats and dairy products. For Johanna, even animal based scraps are child’s play.

I won’t go too much into how the thing works right now. I’ll save that for my video review after it arrives. But you can check out the diagram below to see some of Johanna’s unique features.

GreenJohannaDiagram.xl  Composting with My Girl, Green Johanna

How the Green Johanna Works

The Purchase

So today I gave $259 to Woodland Direct to have Johanna sent to us (it was the cheapest deal I could find on the web). And as soon as she arrives I’ll share my composting adventures with you. Keep in mind I’m a total compost rookie, so I’ll be learning by doing, which means good times for you the viewer.

pixel Composting with My Girl, Green Johanna


  1. Looks like you are more into the technology and bling rather than the end result. Paying $259 for a composter is a rookie mistake. You could build a bin with recycled (novel idea!) pallets or with a corral of concrete reinforment wire. There are ways to critter proof, even in the ‘burbs.

    For more info, check out the ‘Net, or read more here:

    Or, if your compost consists of kitchen scraps, try using worms. They make lovely pets, and work very hard.

    I’m just sayin……

    • Thanks for your comment, Yolanda, though I don’t necessarily agree with you. As I mentioned in my post, I did plenty of research in this area and was aware of cheaper ways to build my own compost bin. And although I can appreciate your willingness to build your own bins, that wasn’t my preference. I wanted something that would take all types of food scraps, animal-based ones included. Most experts don’t recommend including animal-based scraps in open compost bins.

      Oh, and the Green Johanna is made from 100% post industrial recycled plastic, which is another reason I chose it over other options. Bottom line is I don’t think there is anything wrong with purchasing a compost bin. It doesn’t make you a wiser person for building versus buying as long as you’ve taken the time to research your options and are willing to part with the money. In my search I found many that were cheaper and others that were more expensive. I’ve read blogs of many experienced composters who own expensive bins as well as cheaper hand made varieties. I say as long as you’re composting, you’re all right with me.

      Thanks for the link, but I didn’t get fooled into buying the Green Johanna. I bought her because I think she’s beautiful. You are right about me being into the technology and bling, though! I’m a sucker for things that glow too!

    • Also wanted to say thanks for posting that link (even though I was snarky about you posting it) – after digging into the Grow Better Veggies site a bit more I found a great DIY chicken coop plan. I think I may just give it a try. See, I’m not all about the bling! 😉

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