How to Build Your Own Bioreactor
The Johnson-Su Bioreactor method of creating compost is quite different from other composting methods in several respects. The most common commercial windrow composting processes are usually designed and operated for speed and maximum product flow. Unfortunately, this focus does not allow the compost to degrade sufficiently. It can even produce an immature compost that in some cases is detrimental to plant growth. Most home composting methods require building a pile and turning it at regular intervals. Both windrow and static pile approaches can produce undesirable smells, attract flies, and be problematic with neighbors. However—when built and maintained correctly—the Johnson-Su bioreactor never needs turning, never has smells, and does not attract flies. The material is composted aerobically which encourages a complete biological breakdown of compost materials that results in a microbially diverse, fungal-dominant product.
Normal compost is similar to mulch in consistency. The compost from Johnson-Su composting bioreactors has the consistency of clay when mature. You can actually squeeze it like clay through your fingers. When mature this compost can be applied as an extract, used to coat seeds for planting in large farming operations, or be applied directly as a soil amendment. It improves seed germination rates when used to coat seeds, improves soil water infiltration and water retention by helping to increase soil carbon content, and increases plant health, plant growth rates, and crop production.