The good news: we just came back home with a heavily discounted Smith & Hawken Biostack Composter bin from the City of LA Bureau of Sanitation/Griffith Park Composting Education Facility. The bad news: the inside of my car smells like earthworm burps...
We purchased the Biostack, the square model above, which normally sells for $129 from Smith & Hawken. But if you make it to one of the workshop/sales events sponsored by the city, you can nab one for a reasonable $45. There's also a $20 model (the cylindrical unit). One of the representatives from the city noted that the price of all these compost units will likely increase in the near future due to higher petroleum prices, so now is a good time to nab one at a discount.
We were happy to see a steady influx of people there to either pick up a composter or some some compost soil. We overheard one couple weighing the merits and responsibilities of having a composter (he wanted it, she was a little hesitant about the maintenance). They still had not decided when we left, but we hope they got one.
Before you purchase, you can walk through a small gated section where 12-15 composter models are showcased, each unit accompanied with a description. Before leaving, we shoveled ourselves a bag of some very unique compost that came from the LA Zoo. So inside our earthy mix was some mighty exotic animal %#$&@ which we hope will fuel our compost bin to some rich rewards. About six weeks after we start composting, we should have some material to spread out in the garden and share with others. And if we need additional compost material ahead of time we can always swing back over to the Griffith Park Composting Facility for additional compost for free, which is stacked on the side near the parking lot for the public. If you're ready to dive into the wonderful world of composting, you can attend the upcoming Cal State Northridge Compost Bin Sales Event and Workshop tomorrow. Information available here.