Skip to main content

The Comploo: A Gardener's Dream

I adore compost. It's my personal cure-all for whatever ails in my garden. The bucket on the counter turns into all that my plants need to grow well to feed my household. Vegetable and fruit castoffs return to the bucket to return to the bin and then to the garden again. Tea bags, yard waste, garden leavings, and kitchen scraps all go in and come out as plant-scrumptious humus. (The kind eaten indirectly rather than the other garlic-laden delight.)

One of my greatest challenges here in Japan is gardening without it. I'm accustomed to turning a pile as well as digging into it when I need some of that lovely black gold to put in a pot or add to a bed. I've got permission to build one, and I'm in the process of choosing a site. Meanwhile, I bury it in spots around the garden as I can and hope for the best.

That said, Bakoko's little creation - The Comploo - is something near to a dream come true for me. Taking advantage of the heat produced during the composting process, the Comploo is a sweet little building that I can easily imagine tucked somewhere near my garden as a perfect spot to take a bit of a break between work rounds. Or a cozy place on a rainy afternoon where I could see the garden, plot new plantings, or just bask in the glow of all those vegetables I adore. Heated by food, garden, and yard scraps composting merrily away in bins that round the edges when I'm done plotting, viewing, and basking I'll just open a bin to scoop some of that wonderful stuff out.

Perfect especially for a community garden, park or a cafe growing the majority of it's food out the back door, the Comploo creates a space for gathering that takes advantage of plant materials in place. Talk about a great way to warm people up to the idea of their own composting after touring the vegetable patch to see what's in season!


Anjuli said…
this is really a great idea!! Now is there any smell which accompanies this?
That I don't know, Anjuli. The circulating air and high temperatures might eliminate that. They're also working out a plan to use it in developing countries, which might be helpful for your building projects.

Popular posts from this blog

Finding Heirloom Seeds in Japan

Drying pods of heirloom Hutterite Soup Beans. Since moving to Japan eight years ago, one of my greatest challenges as a farmer-gardener has been to find heirloom or open-pollinated seeds. The majority of seeds available are not GMO (genetically modified organisms) as Japan, at this point, doesn't accept this material. Most seeds, though, are nearly all F1 varieties. Heirloom and F1 Varieties In plant breeding, F1 is the name given to the first generation of a cross between two true breeding parents. For example, if I decide to cross an Amish Paste Tomato with another heirloom variety tomato such as Emmy, in hopes of getting a gold paste tomato, the resulting generation of fruit is F1. In order to get that tomato of my culinary dreams, I'll need to choose members of that first generation that are headed in a direction I like - early ripening, medium-sized fruit, good taste - and save their seeds. I'll plant them and repeat the process again and again over time unti

Satoimo: One of Japan's Favorite Slimy Things

Satoimo in all their hairy glory. This post first appeared in slightly different form on Garden to Table as part of the 2012  Blogathon . The website has since moved on to the ether, but the post is still a good one. After all, people here are still eating satoimo on a daily basis, and many others are just seeing these little potato-like objects for the first time. Enjoy! Satoimo is one of Japan's odder vegetables. Under it's rough, slightly furry skin is white flesh that is a little bit slimy even raw, and with a gentle nutty flavor.* Baked, grilled, steamed with dashi, or deep-fried satoimo stands well on its own or paired up with other vegetables and meats in a wide variety of soups and stews . (The leaves are also edible.) Satoimo stores well, and like any root crop worth the effort, stocks are just running low on this household favorite as the farmers in my area of Tokyo get ready to put a new crop in the ground in May. I cannot say I was a fan of this l

Goma Ai Shingiku - Sesame and Chrysanthemum Greens

Last week I had the pleasure of helping some friends work in their parents garden not too far away. Tucked behind the house, the garden sits on a former house lot. When it came up for sale about five years ago, my friend's father jumped at the chance. Open land in Tokyo can be hard to find and expensive, but for a retired professional looking for a little spot to till in the city it was an opportunity to good to pass up. Now, it is a garden to envy. As we came through the gate rose, lily, and peony blooms greeted us with great shouts of color while rows of vegetables stood tidily at attention on the sunny center stage. Small fruit trees along with one of the biggest sansho trees I've seen yet stood quietly here and there. Near waist-high sweet corn, bushy young potato plants, cherry tomatoes, eggplants, and beans were preparing their summer fruits, while a handful of still quite luscious looking winter vegetables like komatsuna, mizuna, and kabu held one last ro