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9 Ways To Use Lomi Dirt… Or Not? (I’m Skeptical)

Are you thinking about getting a Lomi electric composter and wondering how to use Lomi dirt? Read on for more about different ways to use Lomi dirt and why it may not be all that it’s cracked up to be.

Update: Looking for a better electric compost bin? I’ve tried several electric kitchen bins, and this one is my favorite! And you can use the output for a variety of things. Check it out.

holding containers of electric compost output to discuss ways to use Lomi dirt

This post contains affiliate links. I’ve included them in case this post helps you decide that one of these electric composters is right for you. But as you can see from my discussion below, I don’t really recommend either of the items for most people.

Maybe I should have titled this article 9 Ways Not To Use Your Lomi Dirt.

As a self-proclaimed composting nerd who owns a composting business and writes a lot about composting for others, I get so many questions about composting at home. By far one of the most common questions I receive relates to electric composters. When contemplating an investment in an expensive electric compost machine like the Lomi, so many people ask me about how to use Lomi dirt (i.e. the output from the Lomi machine).

I want to see composting become much easier for everyday people. I really hoped electric composters would be the magic tool to make this happen. Unfortunately, after using them for a couple of years, I just don’t think that’s the case. You can see my full review of the FoodCycler here. I intended to write a review of the Lomi, but after using it for a while, ended up writing this post about six reasons not to buy an electric composter instead.  For now, let’s focus on ways to use the output – because if you can’t effectively use the output, it doesn’t seem worth the investment.

woman behind a Lomi electric composter sitting on a table

Are Electric Composters Worth The Investment?

I’ve thought long and hard about the effectiveness of electric composters. I try to provide a variety of advice and feedback about composting at home based on my own experience and what I’ve learned from others to help as many people as possible reduce their food waste and limit the organic materials they send to the landfill.

I owned a Lomi and a FoodCycler for a couple of years, both of which I’ve since given away. I purchased both of them with my own money independent of any collaboration with either of the companies that make them. I bought them both so I could honestly and completely answer inquiries about whether or not people should invest in these tools.

After using the FoodCycler for a couple of years and running many cycles with the Lomi, I’m not especially compelled to recommend either of them to many people. In most cases, I think there are several better alternatives for reducing the organic waste one sends to the landfill.

That being said, food waste is a massive problem. Our landfills are overflowing and food waste in our landfills creates methane, a potent greenhouse gas contributing to climate change. According to a report from the Environmental Protection Agency from November 2021, one-third of food produced in the United States is never eaten. Food waste is the single most common material in landfills and incinerators and represents 22-24% of municipal solid waste. We desperately need to reduce the food waste we put in our trash bins.

Solutions to reduce landfilled food waste will vary significantly based on people’s living circumstances, financial resources, abilities, and available time to manage food waste. I appreciate that. No solution will be right for everyone, and we need a variety of solutions to meet the needs of as many people as possible.

With that in mind, I’m willing to be convinced that an electric composter is right for a small group of people. But electric composters are definitely not the systematic solution to eliminating landfilled organic waste. They are not our golden ticket to food waste freedom.

image of six plastic containers, each with one batch of output from an electric composter - none of which look like finished compost

What is Lomi Dirt?

Lomi Dirt is the output from a cycle of organic waste matter processed by the Lomi electric composter. The Lomi dehydrates and grinds up food waste and organic matter to turn it into a form of fertilizer (using that term loosely) for plants and gardens.

The company claims that their LomiPods, small tablets added to each cycle, help make the output more beneficial to the soil. Because the machine heats the bucket and its contents to high temperatures, I’m not quite sure how the process doesn’t effectively kill most or all of the effective bacteria and microorganisms that would otherwise feed the soil. (Read: I’m dubious about just how beneficial the output is. But I don’t have the data or scientific expertise to make a more definitive claim than just to say I’m skeptical.)

But let’s assume for today that the Lomi dirt is actually a nutrient-rich amendment that can ultimately build healthier soil ecosystems (even if it’s not).

What Lomi Dirt is not.

I can say with certainty that the output looks nothing like finished, nutrient-rich compost. It looks more like Potpourri. When you use the LomiPods, the output is darker and slightly more dirt-like than without the pods. But you would never confuse it for dirt, soil, or finished compost (with or without the Pods).

Also, Lomi dirt often smells like the food that was processed. The odor is not nearly as potent after processing as before I run the machine. But it’s strong enough that I would not want to sprinkle it on top of soil or dirt without burying it.

The very first time I used the Lomi, we included cooked fish scraps in the bucket’s contents and the Lomi dirt definitely smelled like fish. I’m taking a hard pass on sprinkling this on the plants around my home.

Lomi | Grow Mode with LomiPods
Lomi | Eco Mode without LomiPods
Lomi | Grow Mode without LomiPods
FoodCycler | Foodilizer
Lomi | Eco Mode with LomiPods
Lomi | Lomi Approved Mode with LomiPods

Can You Really Use Lomi Dirt From The Lomi Electric Composter?

Before needing any detailed review of the machine itself, let’s focus on how one might use the output of a Lomi electric composter – because if you don’t use the output, it’s hardly worth the investment to buy it.

The official Lomi website offers eight ways to use Lomi dirt. Some of them are fine, though I don’t think they’re often the highest and best uses for our food scraps. A couple of the options, however, are downright silly.

What good is an electric composter if we simply toss the output in the trash? To make it worthwhile to purchase and manage any electric composter, it’s important we can effectively utilize the organic matter output. Let’s discuss a variety of ways some have proposed to use Lomi dirt and consider alternative options that, in my opinion, are often much better.

Toss the Lomi Dirt in Your Green Bin

In their YouTube videos and on their website, Lomi suggests disposing of Lomi dirt in a green bin (i.e. compost collection or drop-off service). I suppose this is technically an acceptable place to put dehydrated, ground-up organic waste remnants.

But if you’re throwing these contents in a green bin that someone else will process, then what’s the point of processing them in an electric composter in the first place? Why put them in a machine that consumes energy and also comes with its own carbon footprint from manufacturing and distribution, not to mention electronic waste disposal at end of life, when you can put the food scraps directly in the bin as is?

Having composted at home in a variety of ways, I think an electric composter is one of the least convenient options for composting. If you have access to any green bin through a pickup service, municipal service, farmers’ market, or other drop-off services, these are often better and easier choices. Let’s compare a couple of options.

Related Reading: 9 Types of Community Composting Programs For Home Composting

Lomi vs. Compost Collection Service

Time | Composting through a collection service, either a private hauler or a municipal service, is way easier than managing an electric composter. For anyone who has access to a collection service and doesn’t particularly care about using finished compost, I always recommend this as the first and best option to compost. Even if you do want finished compost, what you buy from the processor will likely be of much higher quality than the output from an electric composter.

Cost | Due to the significant cost of these machines, including recurring costs like replacement filters and LomiPods, the cost of a collection service versus the machine is not wildly different. Let’s look at an example.

The Lomi machine costs $500 and the LomiPods and charcoal filter pellets cost about $120 per year ($40 to be replaced once every 3-4 months). That’s $620 after 1 year, $740 after 2 years, and $860 after three years. Residential composting collection services range from free (if you have access to a municipal program covered by tax dollars) to $25 per month for more expensive private hauler services. Let’s call it $20 per month for discussion purposes.

It would take 43 months (or more than 3 and a half years) of monthly collection service to recover the costs of the Lomi machine and its accessories (and that doesn’t account for the electricity to run it). That assumes it still works after three years!

If you have access, the collection service is easier and less expensive. If you have a green bin, just use it for food scraps and ditch the intermediate step of an electric composter.

Related Reading: Can You Use A Curbside Composting Service If You Live in An Apartment?

Waste Reduction | Most collection services accept a wide variety of organic matter, including everything that can go in a Lomi. Electric composters, however, have low volume capacity and can’t compost things like stone fruit and avocado pits, bones, and other hard objects that might break the grinding mechanism. The collection service will likely be able to handle more of the items you want to compost.

Lomi vs. Compost Drop Off

Time | On its surface, a drop-off option may seem more time-intensive than using an electric composter. Maybe for a handful of people, that’s the case.

But to really eliminate food waste using an electric composter, there is still some intentional management required for the electric composter. Chopping up food scraps for the machine, running it, cleaning the bucket, and managing the output feel nearly as time-intensive to me as sticking food scraps in a bucket and dropping them off at a collection site periodically.

Cost | Compost drop-off sites are typically free or charge a minimal fee to collect food scraps, so it would take many years of drop-offs to account for the cost of the machine and its recurring parts replacements (that whopping $860 price tag after just three years).

Waste Reduction | Most organic waste drop-off sites accept a wide variety of organic matter, including everything that can go in a Lomi. Electric composters, however, have low volume capacity and can’t compost things like stone fruit and avocado pits, bones, and other hard objects that might break the grinding mechanism. The compost drop-off site will likely be able to handle more of the items you want to compost.

Accessibility | While not always the case, it’s fair to assume that most people who can afford a Lomi electric composter either have access to a collection service, a car to drop off scraps, or reasonable transportation to an acceptably close drop-off location. If not, keep scrolling for more alternatives to proposed Lomi dirt uses.

Related Reading: How To Start Composting At A Community Composting Drop-Off Site

Toss The Lomi Dirt in Your Trash Bin

Face palm. What?!

If you’re going to throw organic matter into the trash, why endure the cost, effort, and energy consumption of using an electric composter? Some might argue that it reduces the amount of space the waste consumes in your trash bin and ultimately in the landfill. I prescribed to this thought in the past, and it’s not false. Dehydrated and ground-up food scraps will take up less space and weigh less in your trash and in the trash truck (that has its own carbon footprint) than if not dehydrated and ground up.

But that organic matter will still release methane in the landfill when it doesn’t have access to oxygen to break down via aerobic processes. By and large, these machines are just dehydrating and grinding food scraps. Once in a landfill, they still release the same amount of methane as they break down through anaerobic decomposition.

Lomi Pods are “a proprietary blend of probiotics that improves the speed of degradation,” (according to the company) so in theory, maybe there is some molecular change that happens with the bacteria in the Lomi Pods that somewhat reduces the methane released.

But I can’t fathom the reduction in methane materially offsets the increase in carbon emissions from the machine (and I don’t really believe that’s actually true, I just can’t prove otherwise). When food waste is composted, water is an important element in making sure that the output from the decompostion process doesn’t release methane. And an electric composter is dehydrating the contents (i.e. removing all the water), so this just doesn’t make sense to me that processing reduces methane emissions once in the landfill.

I’m hard-pressed to believe that we’re collectively better off spending millions of dollars on electric composters simply to reduce the physical size and weight of the food waste we’re sending to a landfill (or the chicken farms in the case of the Mill membership).

Furthermore, Lomi encourages including ripped-up cardboard and brown matter in the bucket. Hopefully, anyone throwing their Lomi dirt into the trash won’t be using it to process cardboard and other browns that could be recycled instead of being sent to a landfill.

If you’re buying the Lomi simply to toss your organic waste in the trash, save your money. Find another way to compost. Donate to, volunteer for, or advocate for organizations working to increase access to better systematic waste management programs for everyone (not just the wealthy who can afford Lomi or other electric composters). It just doesn’t seem worth it.

Add the Lomi Dirt To Your Compost Bin

If you have a compost bin, skip the Lomi and simply toss your food scraps into your compost bin or heap. Even if you live in a place with cold weather, you can often toss your food scraps into a compost pile over the winter, let them freeze, and compost them in the spring when they thaw out.

A lazily managed compost pile will take a long time to break down, so the volume can pile up (in any weather, but especially when it’s cold). I’ve heard some people who prefer to use an electric composter during winter, collect the Lomi dirt for several months, and then add it all to their compost bin in the spring.

I understand the appeal of this. Where I live, we experience cold winters and our compost pile does freeze for a period of time. But, for someone willing to manage a compost pile, I still think there are easier and more effective ways to compost through winter than relying on an electric composter.

I’ve also received many inquiries from people who live in bear country about whether or not an electric composter might be a good alternative. Due to food smells in a compost bin that attract bears, composting isn’t always a safe or effective option in these areas.

But I’m not sure the electric composter really solves the problem. The finished product still has some smell to it. After I sprinkled it in my garden, the smell had enough scent to attract raccoons to my garden in just one night. If the raccoons are interested in it, I bet the bears can smell it too.

Add Lomi Dirt To House Plant Soil

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just sprinkle your electric compost output on all your houseplants and watch them flourish? It sounds too good to be true because it is.

Extra Steps | First and foremost, you can’t just sprinkle Lomi dirt on top of your houseplants. Lomi dirt needs to be integrated with soil, so you can’t use Lomi dirt on your houseplants anytime you’d like. Only when you plant new plants or repot existing plants will you use some of your Lomi dirt.

Loads of Lomi | Moreover, Lomi recommends a ratio of 10:1 potting soil to Lomi dirt. If you’re using your Lomi regularly (at least 1-2 times per week for an individual or small family), you will most likely create way more Lomi dirt than you’ll ever use as a potting soil amendment.

Too Many Nutrients? | Further, potting soil is already rich in nutrients. I’m not sure mixing Lomi dirt with potting soil is actually good for the plants. A few months ago, a reader reached out to me to share how her FoodCycler Foodilizer created a growth of green matter in her bare potting soil when she mixed it into the soil before planting. After reaching out to FoodCycler to inquire about this, they said that adding Foodilizer (which is similar to Lomi dirt) to potting soil actually adds too many nutrients to the soil.

I’m not a garden expert, so maybe someone else understands better than me. But it almost sounds like a soil equivalent to an algae bloom in water that results from too many nutrients in the water. Over time, the odd growth eventually went away (presumably as the excess nutrients were used up). But why add organic matter to potting soil that is already mixed to be suitable for new plant growth?

Managing Inputs | Additionally, Lomi suggests limiting the inputs into the Lomi to fruits, vegetables, eggshells, and coffee grounds if you’re planning to use the Lomi dirt on houseplants. You typically can compost all sorts of other things in the Lomi (like meat, dairy, browns, and bioplastics). The variety of items you can compost is kind of one of their selling points.

But if you plan to use the output for houseplants, be sure not to include those other things. If you do, be sure to keep different containers of Lomi dirt to know which included meat, dairy, and bioplastics and which did not, I guess?

Lastly, be sure to use Grow Mode (which takes nearly 24 hours of continuous energy use to complete) along with your LomiPods, as this is the best way to make sure to get the most nutrient-rich output from the processing cycle. But don’t use Grow Mode (use Lomi-approved mode) when you’re processing bioplastics.

This management sounds tedious.

All this is to say that using Lomi dirt to feed your houseplants sounds nice in theory. But it’s really not very practical for most people, especially those hoping Lomi is a shortcut to easy composting. Even if you actively manage what goes into the Lomi, keep separate containers for “houseplant dirt” and “not houseplant dirt”, and some of the Lomi dirt feeds houseplants, most of it will still end up elsewhere (probably in the trash).

Sprinkle Lomi Dirt on Your Lawn

I suppose this isn’t the worst of the options (like trashing the Lomi dirt), but Lomi composter beware of this one. As I mentioned above, the Lomi dirt still has a faint food odor to it (and a mildly strong odor if you composted smelly food like fish). If you sprinkle Lomi dirt on your lawn or use it to fill holes your dog digs in the grass, it may attract animals.

Last summer, I sprinkled FoodCycler Foodilizer (similar to Lomi dirt) on some empty raised garden beds covered in wood chips for the off-season. I mixed it into wood chips. By the very next morning, a ravenous animal had dug lots of holes in the garden bed in search of the food smell I couldn’t detect but the animal clearly recognized.

I suspect it was a nosy raccoon unsuccessfully looking for its lunch. Needless to say, that scent will not get “buried” in your grass. Lomi dirt (or any electric composter output) is not the same as the fertilizer you spread on your lawn. It takes much longer to break down than synthetic fertilizer to make the nutrients accessible to the microbes in the soil.

If you’re concerned about animals digging up your lawn in search of the source of the food smell (or generally being attracted to your yard), I’d tread carefully on using Lomi dirt as a lawn fertilizer.

Share Lomi Dirt With Neighbors

Lomi dirt is only good for your neighbors if they can actually use it (and don’t have better uses for the actual food scraps before they’re processed by an electric composter). See all the reasons above (i.e. the ways your neighbor might actually use the finished product) and consider that there are better alternatives.

That’s not to say sharing Lomi dirt with neighbors is bad; there are just so many better options to connect with neighbors over composting and help your gardener friends have healthy soil.

Drop Lomi Dirt At A Community or School Garden

As I’ve mentioned already, Lomi dirt is not finished compost. It’s not fertilizer (in the traditional sense). So before you drop your Lomi dirt at a community garden or school garden, consider what they actually need. A community garden may already have plenty of greens in its compost bin, like all the plant remnants from prior seasons. A school has more than enough food scraps from their lunch room, so they likely don’t need any more greens from you either.

Some school or community gardens may have a need for Lomi dirt, but it’s unlikely and this is certainly not a widespread solution for most Lomi users. If you’re thinking about buying a Lomi (or any electric composter) and plan to donate your Lomi dirt, find out first if they actually need it and fully understand what they are actually getting. Don’t make your trash someone else’s problem.

Also, if you’re willing to drop off your Lomi dirt, maybe you can find a drop-off location for your food scraps in your community instead (and save yourself the time and money of an electric composter).

Sell or Donate Your Lomi Dirt

Maybe. But I’m skeptical about a broad market for Lomi dirt. I just searched “Lomi Dirt” and “Lomi Fertilizer” on Facebook Marketplace and didn’t find a single listing that even looked remotely close to this.

Don’t look up listings on Facebook Marketplace for compost or mulch. These are not the same thing. I’m not saying it’s impossible to sell or donate Lomi dirt, but understand the market for Lomi dirt in your area before assuming you’ll be able to find a home for it.


Before buying a Lomi electric composter, ask yourself what you plan to do with the output. If you don’t have a good answer or I’ve debunked your potential solution above, reconsider if an electric composter is right for you. There’s probably a better solution available to you to reduce your landfilled food waste. When we really dig into the practical applications, I just don’t think an electric composter is right for most people.

If you liked this post, you might also like

6 Reasons NOT to Buy an Electric Kitchen Composter

Top 5 Easiest Ways To Compost At Home

9 Types of Community Composting Programs For Home Composting

Jen Panaro

Jen Panaro, founder and editor-in-chief of Honestly Modern, is a self-proclaimed composting nerd and advocate for sustainable living for modern families. To find her latest work, subscribe to her newsletter, Stepping Stones.

In her spare time, she’s a serial library book borrower, a messy gardener, and a mom of two boys who spends a lot of time in hockey rinks and on baseball fields.

You can find more of her work at Raising Global Kidizens, an online space to help parents and caregivers raise the next generation of responsible global citizens.

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  1. A friend of mine has a Lomi, but I am not convinced. What can you do with the Lomi output? It’s not dirt and it’s not really compost. How much additional time would it need to become actual compost and how would a person store it in the meantime? I’ve heard of mold and fungus growing on the sprinkled Lomi output. Not something I want in my vegetable garden.

    1. I originally bought one for the full price a few years ago when it came out. I sent it back because it was making a noise and I realize because I was not cutting up the food product. The bucket was making a little bit of a noise so I didn’t know if anything was wrong with it and I ended up sending it back.
      Shame on me I just purchased one for half the price because the prices have come down because you can buy now a smart one which I don’t recommend buying that’s just wasted money.
      We love our LOMI we live in California and every two weeks we have to put our green Waste scout and living in the Sacramento valley area where it’s 100° temperatures all summer long food waste really sucks sitting in your green waste bin out in your side yard or garage!
      So it is a fantastic product for Northern California. I cannot say enough good about it.
      Do you have the choice on how long to mulch it for to get the most benefits of what you’re looking for if you don’t wanna waste that much energy, then throw it in your green waste at the lowest mulch rate of energy you’re still saving landfill room oh and did I tell you The first lo, and the second Lomi never smells of food ever ! So I don’t know this reviewers point because we never have any odor whatsoever, thank you for that Lomi.
      We are blessed to have solar, so I’m not worried about the electricity cost like some might be. I don’t know what that would run you should you not have solar but I love it.
      I would absolutely recommend anyone in northern California because of our sucky political government laws that you get one if you don’t want to smell your rotting garbage out on your side lot, you can compost all you want, all day long all week long and wait two weeks for them to pick it up while you have the maggots flies and smell we no longer have that. And for that, we are most grateful. Also grateful for the price reduction on the original product well worth it.
      Postscript don’t have to buy their products you can buy the little tablet cheaper with any other company, so why would you pay for their high end product when you can get it less expensive in many places, I’m just saying. ‍♀️

  2. Hey Bernie, I had the same issue as well : mold and fungus 🙁 I mixed some of Lomi dirt with normal soil on almost all my house plants -big mistake- I am now dealing with fungus gnats and sometimes removing a thin layer of mold on the top of soil. It doesn’t seem to do harm but it is really annoying.. And plants having less exposure to sun and luminosity, I can’t replant in new soil, There’s too much risk that the plant doesn’t recover from the shock. I will have to wait to next spring.

  3. We’ve used a thin layer of Lomi dirt as mulch on some of our strawberry plants in summertime, and found the plants which got Lomi dirt did much better than those without mulch. But there are a few caveats: we’re in Boise, where summers are very hot and dry (and mold/fungus is not a huge problem); our strawberries are in an off-the-ground planter about two feet by sixteen feet; and the planter is inside a fence that keeps most wildlife out (squirrels being the notable exception). Under these conditions we’ve been pleased with the Lomi dirt.

    We’re also considering using the dirt in a compost tumbler, but that’ll be a project for next year .

  4. Thanks for this article. I just got a Lomi electric composted with the hope of it being a win, win, win scenario. Alas, it is not. I am not enamored with the output and am not going to put it on my plants, which is why I got it in the first place.

    I will check back for ideas. Thanks again!

  5. I have been using the lomi for about a year now and have experienced lots of mold, gnats, and fungus as well when I sprinkled it in my house plants (per their instruction).
    The reason I was excited to get the lomi in the first place was because we live in a townhome in a city that doesn’t have a compost pick up. I was saving my compost once a week to give to my mother, but the compost would get really stinky and sometimes moldy in our kitchen so it was a big hassle. I figured since we don’t have a yard, we could use the output as a less stinky way of saving compost for when we wanted it. We have a small patio where we built a small raised bed and wanted to use the out post for that but build it like regular compost. I would love your input on my theory… I dump all the output into a wood box (I use the lomi 2x a week so we get a lot of output) then layer it with soil, then layer again with output. We are not growing anything in it, just building it and letting it break down more. I started this in the fall and hoping it can break down and be something resembling “regular” compost in a year or so. Is this realistic? I guess we shall see…

    1. Thanks for sharing your experience. The plan you are using now seems to make sense in that letting the Lomi output rest in soil for a period of time will help to revive the microbial life in the scraps and provide nutrients in that matter to feed plants in the future. Good luck! Would love to hear how it turns out in the spring.

      1. Phew! I wish I would have found your blog a year ago when I was so gung-ho to get the lomi. Truthfully, it’s just not worth it, but I’m trying to get what I can out of it at this point. Thanks for the reply! I got a lot from this post!

    2. Lomi output makes good squirrel food…
      I dumped some output in an oblong planter on my back deck that I was planning to mix it with soil. It rained a bit and the output turned hard…and it became a tasty treat for the squirrels to come snack on. They ate every single bit! But feeding squirrels is not my intention so I don’t dare actually use it in my yard. Sigh… yes I’m disillusioned with the Lomi too…now what do I do with it because I don’t want to trash it but feel bad pawning it off on some other unsuspecting person who will initially believe it will make black gold.

  6. The article doesn’t mention using Lomi outputs a soil amendment for gardens – I have both vegetable and perennial gardens – which is what I bought it for. It’s winter, so I won’t see the result yet, but I didn’t read anything in the article that suggests it won’t be useful for that. (Although I might use the eco mode for some cycles since I may not need that much to enrich the soil) So far I have loved that all my food scraps go into the Lomi!

    1. Hey Jen – You can definitely use the Lomi output for an outdoor garden. Glad to hear the Lomi is working out for you.

  7. I used a little bit of it in my grow bags last year. (Sprinkled on top or buried.) My dog went around sniffing all the plants. hahaha. However, it did breakdown and I saw that all my plants perked up afterwards and were more prolific. I added a sprinkle to the plants 4 times during the grow season. It was definitely a great addition as a light fertilizer. However, now I’m looking for ways that I could store the output and let it ‘cure’ in a spot where it won’t attract wildlife or pests. My spinning composter is great but it often creates sludgy compost and it takes forever to be usable. If I find a great way to store my output weekly for later use, it will be worth the investment.

    1. We’ve been storing our Lomi output in two five gallon buckets with lids this winter. I’d hesitate to say it’s curing in the cold weather, but it keeps the dogs from eating it . When the spring thaw comes we’ll mix it into our planting beds.

  8. Following up on LJCM’s comments, my dogs definitely went sniffing after the compost when I put it in the garden! But luckily they decided not to eat it. I also completely agree re my own spinning composter…it takes forever to get the contents to a usable product (and even then it’s sort of striated and messy, which is why I wanted to try the Lomi. I have been planning to store Lomi when I need to in some large buckets I have but am wondering now if I should use the Lomi on eco-cycle and put the results in the outside composter?? With some easily composted material?

  9. I have been vermicomposting since January and my worms seem to be doing fine with the food scraps I “blend” in a small food processor and add to my worm bin. My good friend and neighbor just purchased a Lomi and brought the output to me to feed my worms. I am reluctant to add this output to my bin not knowing exactly what went into it. Has there ever been any professional analysis of the Lomi output as to beneficial microbes and other nutrients that would enhance the soil food web? As a precaution, I am not going to jeopardize my worms by adding the Lomi output until I am positive, beyond a reasonable doubt that it will do no harm.

    1. The Lomi really just dehydrates and then grinds up whatever you put in the bucket. If the owner used Lomi pods, I’m not entirely sure what is in them, so I couldn’t say for sure how that science works. I think the beneficial nature of the output is really just a product of what goes into the bucket.

  10. I am a newbie to vermicomposting and have enjoyed grinding and feeding kitchen scraps to my new family of red wigglers. A close friend purchased the Lomi Electric Composter and brought the output of his machine to me to feed my worms. I did not immediately accept this offering and after some contemplation, probably will not if offered again. From what I understand, compost is created by the activity of a vast number of denizens of the soil food web, including microbes, fungi, worms, bugs, and many more living organisms. These all work together to make compost the “black gold” it is said to be. These machines eliminate this all important biological part of composting and I suspect don’t have much in the way of nutrition that plants need to thrive.

    1. You’re correct that the output is not “black gold” by any means. Some of the companies that make these machines are pretty forthcoming about that and others are … not. But if you’re looking for a nutrient-rich amendment ready to feed to plants/gardens/etc…, the output from an electric composter is not it.

    2. I have an outdoor garden with two covered plastic buckets embedded in the soil-they have holes in them for worms to travel in and out of the buckets throughout the garden bed. I add food scraps, cardboard and leaves to the buckets for Vetmicomposting right among my vegetables. I was burying my Lomi output in other parts of the garden and then found many worms concentrated in those sections, so I think they like the Lomi output and it’s not hurting them. When I don’t have an empty spot in the garden bed, I’ll just be putting my Lomi output right into the vermicomposting buckets.

  11. Thanks for this informative article. I have a slightly different take on the topic.

    I moved long distance and left my somewhat broken spinning composter behind. My new home is in the Rockies: high altitude, low humidity and long cold winters. While I was deciding what to do about composting (bin vs worms), I started dehydrating our food scraps by spreading them on a baking sheet in the boiler room, which heats up to about 72 degrees. This was a pretty effective method to deal with the food in the interim. Once dry and crushed, the scraps took up very little space. I figured that would be my method–dehydrate, crush and then put into a bin, where the subsequent composting would go much faster. I didn’t want to put food waste directly into the bin because, with the long winters, decomposing would take too long.

    Then last year I received a Lomi as a gift. Initially I thought “what do I need this for?” But here’s one thing I really like about it: it eats paper. While most of our tossed paper goes into recycling, not all paper can be recycled. Shredded paper can’t, because the fibers are too short and can’t be remade into new paper. It also is not accepted at my municipal compost facility (where I still bring things like pits, bones, dairy, etc.). You can put shredded paper into a compost bin, but some of the pieces will invariably fly out, and that is very unsightly and hard to manage. Coffee filters also can’t be recycled because of the coffee oils. With Lomi, these papers are turned into something brown and wooly, which disappear right away into the compost.

    Now I have a compost bin as well, into which I put all that saved dehydrated food waste and the saved up Lomi output, which includes the paper processed in the machine. I’m using the compost bin in order to turn the Lomi dirt into actual compost. Going forward, I’ll only use the Lomi and the composter. So– the Lomi makes the process go a lot faster, it’s easier than what I did before, takes up less space, and handles the paper, which adds necessary browns to the mix. I still don’t think it justifies the cost at the current price, though I think that will go down. However, for people who don’t have a place for a composter but want to take more responsibility for their waste, a Lomi (at a lower price), plus a friend with a composter, might be a good way to go.

    1. Thanks so much for sharing. This is a really thoughtful response and I appreciate your perspective.

  12. I bought the Lomi when it first came out – for a much different reason than others here. I am plant-based and have a lot of vegetable and fruit scraps through the week. I use the Green Bin program in my community. It is picked up curbside weekly. Now this may seem silly to many of you out there, but I have a huge aversion to food scraps, it makes me gag and I just do not enjoy the process of the Green Bin smell, etc. I am using the Lomi because it reduces the bulk of food scrap that does not fit into my Green Bin through the week and to make the waste easier for me to deal with. I simply put the output into my Green Bin. I know this was a point that seemed ridiculous, but it works for me.

    1. Glad it’s working for you! Sounds like it a great solution. We definitely all have different needs, and I know this product will be the right one for some people.

  13. So I have a great use for my new Lomi composter. True, it’s not finished. Impost, it’s more what I would call pre-compost. I have worm bins, and I find that adding raw food scraps to my bins still takes weeks to months to get processed. I could compost in my compost piles but…
    1. I don’t have enough food waste to make a 3’ x 3’ x 3’ compost pile every week. Not only that but flipping a 9 cubic foot compost pile is time consuming and hard work. I can get a partially composted material in 3-20 hours with no work on my end, every day, or 2-3x per week, and reduce the material by 80-90% of its original mass, then feed that directly to my worms.
    A standard compost pile takes a minimum of 7-10 days to get pre/partially composted materials, and upwards of 6 weeks to 6 months to get fully composted material. (6-18 months for mature compost)
    I did want to point out a few things and answer to your question about the grow mode.
    1. The temperatures are much lower in the grow mode, so it doesn’t kill the microbes, that’s why it has to run for a longer time.
    2. The materials from my runs have not been dried/dehydrated, they are actually moist and mud/paste like. That would be conducive to keeping the microbes alive.
    3. I looked under the microscope today at my final product after the grow cycle and the results were astonishing. I actually got results similar to a compost tea when it came to microbe count. I would say it was at least 100-1000x more microbe active than GOOD garden soil. (And I’m not referring to “dirt” which is very microbe poor)
    I hope this helps, and feel free to reach out with any questions regarding this post.

  14. I live in southern Quebec (with no municipal green waste program) and we have snow and deep freeze for at least four months a year. I am somewhat obsessed with composting in situ. Anything that’s compostable does not leave the property. We shred all of our leaves and use them as mulch or add to compost. Arborist chips stay on the property and I am known to get the wood chips from whoever is cutting trees in the neighborhood. I have four composting systems: indoor worm bin, Jora tumbler composter (for food scraps from April to November, it’s great and is entirely critter proof), 3x3x3ft pallet bins for yard and garden waste, and a Foodcycler. Our town (and several towns in rural Ontario) offered a heavily subsidized Foodcycler (for CAN$300/retail price CAN$800). It was hard to pass such a good deal.

    In our very cold climate, Foodcycler (or Lomi) is great for food scraps from mid November to the end of March, when it’s impossible to use the tumbler composter or any other outdoor composting system. I use the Foodcycler output to feed the worms (they love it!) or add it to the tumbler composter or pallet composters in spring (sometimes in the summer too, it just gets the tumbler composter to work faster). Foodcycler output does need curing (or processing by worms) but that does not bother me. The reduction in volume over those four freezing months can’t be beat. Before getting the Foodcycler, I’d keep a metal garbage bin in the shed and load it with kitchen scraps all winter and then throw them into the tumbler composter in spring. It would get really heavy, difficult to move, and it took a lot of carbon to get it to compost.

    The Foodcycler finished product is not compost and I would not say it’s even a soil amendment. As Jen said, it’s just dried and ground food waste. If you have access to the municipal green bin program, have a worm bin at home, or a way to compost the finished product, go for it!

  15. I have just processed my first batch of scraps to use for my gardens. I have a large property and am trying to get into gardening and hoping to use the compost for my strawberry rows I just planted, for next year. How do I store this if I can make loads of this? Basement with large Tupperware bin with holes? or can I rototill it into some dirt outside and leave it out through the winter? Is it the animals that people are afraid of ? any suggestions welcome! thanks


    1. Hi Michelle – Thanks for the question. You can store it in any container though I would not recommend putting holes in it. I have stored it in large yogurt containers (with the top on) and the large Tupperware container you mentioned would be great too (I would not put holes in it). I have also seen people store it in an old trash can outdoors through the winter too and then incorporate it into their soil in the spring. Hope that helps! – Jen

  16. For the past couple months I’ve been dumping the Lomi bucket into a large potted fig tree that we bring in for the winter, assuming that this would not be problematic…

    Well, today I noticed that the Lomi dirt was growing mold and was providing a nice nest to a colony of fruit flies.

    It seems that the Lomi dirt is basically dehydrated food scraps which quickly reconstitute when you water your plants… so I would definitely not recommend sprinkling it on top of plants.

    We bought a Lomi because our outdoor composters were at capacity, and during the winter it’s always a chore to trudge through the snow to one to find that the lid is frozen shut.

    Now I think I’m going to need to ensure that the Lomi dirt is completely dry and fill a Rubbermaid container with it over the winter and then dump it into an outdoor composter in the spring.

    1. Thanks for sharing your experience. It’s helpful to hear. When I used our Lomi, I found that the dehydrated scraps were not problematic so long as they stayed dry and were in an enclosed container. We kept them this way for many months. I think you’re idea will work. 🙂

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