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Discussion Starter #1
I bought an electric chipper from Canadian Tire a couple of years ago but it was a mistake -- it really only works for chipping tree branches, but I'd like one that can efficiently handle autumn leaves as well as hedge trimmings -- basically one of those chippers with a big funnel at the top instead of one with a small hole through which you have to push individual twigs and branches.

It needs to be electric; I'm in a quiet neighbourhood and we don't like to use noisy gasoline-powered equipment outdoors.

We have two compost bins and I like being able to chip twigs, branches, hedge trimmings, and autumn leaves to add some carbon to the mix in the compost.

Any suggestions?
 

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i always take the lazy approach. I just throw in leaves, green twigs & hedge trimmings outright. I break em up, but i'd never bother to chip or shred em even though it's recommended. It's only recommended for speed of decomposition, not for quality of final product.

such a rough compose takes 2 years. Avocado, peach & plum seeds, also cherry stones, all subsist intact beyond the 1st year. Right now i've just shovelled out part of an old heap. It still has non-decomposed twigs & seeds that will have to be cast back into the going-concern heap. I have 2, side by side. Actually, i have 3 heaps, the 3rd one being good new compost all ready for use.

the only thing i can't handle are real branches, but these get bundled & put out for the community pickup that sends them to a commercial chipper. I do pick off & compose all the leaves & twigs, though.

it's like the laundry in a nearby thread. Why bother with a dryer when fresh air & sunshine work perfectly. Why bother with an electric machine when time breaks down all composts.

but i have something of a clue by now as to how you are, brad. I'm probably wasting my effort here. If brad says he wants a machine, then by gosh & by golly the smart money will bet that he'll get one.

thank you, btw, for all the info on grinders, choppers, food processors. Always so helpful when it comes from an expert.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
If brad says he wants a machine, then by gosh & by golly the smart money will bet that he'll get one.

thank you, btw, for all the info on grinders, choppers, food processors. Always so helpful when it comes from an expert.
:D

Well, I would never call myself an "expert," just someone who has learned from experience. I'm a trial-and-error guy, and my conclusions are based on a lot of error (and wasted money, I'm afraid).

One of those errors was this chipper. When I lived in Vermont I did just as you do -- I piled everything up, no chipping, and eventually after a year or two I had compost. But we're on a mission to improve our terrible soil as quickly as we can, and part of that involves regular applications of compost. When I used well-shredded stuff, I can have finished, useable compost in two or three weeks, which means a fair number of batches each summer. We put it through a sieve and spread it around periodically.

When I was a kid, my neighbour had a big farm-style chipper that he used for leaves and branches; he made enormous compost piles and we kids used to love to drive our hands into the piles on cool days in autumn and feel the heat -- there was literally steam rising out of them!
 

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i see. Need for speed.

but couldn't you just have them deliver a small truckload of sand & another truckload of peat moss ... some bags organic sheep manure ... so as to do the job pdq.

but then, after you'd wheelbarrowed all of this to the backyard (unless you have rear lane delivery) & dug it all in by hand ...

oops could be backbreaking. Maybe machined compost is better after all. More of a manageable pace.

as for your recipes they are really & truly expert. They're as good as a book. I can no longer imagine monday-morning-how-was-asia-how-is-europe-premarket-trading-what's-gold-oil-long-bonds-9:30-am-market-open without a mouthwatering recipe from brad to kickstart the week.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
oops could be backbreaking. Maybe machined compost is better after all. More of a manageable pace.
Yes, athough now you've got me thinking: I can get free compost from the City of Montreal in spring (at the Complexe environnemental de Saint-Michel, not too far from where I live) and maybe I should just think of my two bins as a way to keep kitchen scraps and weed thinnings out of the landfill. It would be cheaper than buying a new chipper.

as for your recipes they are really & truly expert. They're as good as a book.
Thanks, although that's because most of them came from a book. I think I've cited my sources in almost every case; I'm just the messenger of these wonderful recipes that are the fruit of others' creativity and hard work.

I have a few more goodies in line for Monday, including possibly the best treatment of cauliflower I've ever tasted -- made it last night and had the leftovers at lunch. I'm glad you're enjoying the receipes, I love sharing them!
 

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ah beleeves they even have a 2nd compost giveaway day each year in the fall. Early october i think. What a good idea.

as for the recipes, you do cite the sources, but there are always individualized brad touches & suggestions that elevate each recipe into the ether.
 

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i'm not the brightest firefly in the compost heap. Today i scribbled something here about why bother with an electric machine when time breaks down all composts, but there was something about the oldie time heals all wounds that kept nagging at me.

yup. Time wounds all peels.

er, sorry.
 

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I recommend CSV-2515, a quality lawn equipment from Patriot products which is best suited for rough grass,perfect yard trees, leaves and works as a great mulcher
 
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