Happy Monday, MNN readers, and welcome to a special two-part edition of “Not of the garden variety," a weekly, product-centric series that's all about exceptional, agrarian-minded outdoor living accessories and odds and ends — items for in and around the garden that you won't find in the backyards of every Tom, Dick and Harry.

This two-parter tackles a certain must-have device for any eco-minded gardener. If you guessed composter, you were right on the money. Or on the humus. Today, I'm tackling the big guys — a variety of lean, mean compost machines for outdoor use ranging from worm bins to tumblers to composter/rain barrel hybrids (sorry, no mass-market Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Composters to be found here, although you can certainly make your own).

And don't fret, later this week I'll be taking a look at space-efficient indoor/kitchen composters and compost collectors geared for gardeners who are working with limited outdoor space but still want to transform organic household waste that would otherwise be unceremoniously thrown away into "black gold" — a super-useful, soil enriching homemade fertilizer and gardening amendment. 

Do you have personal experience with any of the below outdoor composters? Is there a model that I left out — there are a ton of options out there — that you'd like to recommend? Tell me about it in the comments section. And be sure to click here for anything and everything compost-related on MNN. 

Eco Stack Composter @ Gardener's Supply Company ($99.95)

Compost Wizard Hybrid @ Gaiam ($249)

Valentina Outdoor Wooden Compost Bin @ Priscilla Woolworth ($310)

Ecomposter Rotating Sphere Composter w/base @ Clean Air Gardening ($199.99)

Earthmaker Aerobic Composter @ Target ($229.99)

Green Johanna Hot Composter @ Composter Connection ($244.50) 

Tumbleweed  Compost Tumbler @ Green Depot ($199)

Worm Factory @ Gardener's Supply Company ($125)

Large Recycled Plastic Compost Bin @ Clean Air Gardening ($99.99)

FSC Certified Wooden Composter - Canadian Spruce @Compost Mania ($155)


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Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

Not of the garden variety: Outdoor composters
Have a kitchen full of food scraps and a garden in desperate need of some TLC? Turn biodegradable waste into solid (black) gold with one of these 10 standout ou