Spoiled rice: compost or fertilizer?

briergardener_gwDecember 23, 2009

I have some rice that went bad in pantry.

What is the best way to use it?

Do i need to boil it a little bit before putting in compost?

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I would soften it by boiling, because it's hard to get it wet in a compost pile.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2009 at 1:04PM
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If you boil the rice then the rice will compost faster, and you can also just dump the rice in your compost pile to decompose because I doubt that they will germinate.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2009 at 1:12PM
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PaulNS(NS zone 6a)

If you bring it to a boil for a minute, covered, then shut it off and let it cool, it will soften enough. Saves energy, and you won't have to smell bad rice cooking for 15 minutes.

Throwing it straight into a moist compost pile would work too.

...what do you mean by spoiled, by the way?

    Bookmark   December 23, 2009 at 3:54PM
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There is not any really good reason to use the energy needed to cook that rice before adding it to your compost, just plunk it in. If this is the common white rice you may need to add a Nitrogen source, but if it is whole grain rice that may not benecessary.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2009 at 7:46AM
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PaulNS(NS zone 6a)

White and brown rice contain protein (>>nitrogen) and carbohydrates both, or they wouldn't be staple foods. So why add extra nitrogen to the pile?

Flora, if you're reading this thread, I can see you rolling your eyes at our persnicketiness. :)

    Bookmark   December 24, 2009 at 9:02AM
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terrene(5b MA)

How does dried rice spoil?

I always throw any extra rice, dry, cooked, spoiled or otherwise, out under the Yew tree where I have a feeding area for ground feeding birds, for them to pick at if they wish.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2009 at 9:25AM
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How rice spoiled? Just got some moisture.
Terrene, i was throwing extra things just in backyard before but then got rats instead of birds.
Now i have to enclose my compost so rats will not dig there.
I guess I just cover it for the night with water and then add to compost.

BTW, do you have problems with rats going through your compost piles? I have rats that dig tunnels everywhere.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2009 at 10:26AM
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I hates rats!

I had a rat get into a windrow shortly after it was built. I saw it once or twice while I was turning the windrow with the tractor so I knew it was around. It always ran to the shed when I disturbed it so one time I decided to get the son of a gun.

The next time I turned the windrow, I had the tractor between the shed and the windrow in hopes that the rat would run out into the open field where I would have a chance of getting him. I had my trusty 5-tine fork at the ready and I would use that to whack him. (forks work great for whacking rats!)

Sure enough, after a few minutes of turning, the rat bolts from the windrow and runs away from the tractor towards the field. I bolt off of the tractor, grab the fork on the way by, and take off in hot pursuit. He had about a 30 second head start and let me tell you, rats are fast and they can turn on a dime.

After a few minutes of zigging and zagging in the field, all the while me whacking away at the ground, he doubles back and goes back over the windrow heading toward the shed. This SOB had me mad by now and there was no way I was going to let him get to the shed so up over the windrow I go all the time whacking away with the fork. Finally get him but it damn near killed me. I was huffing, puffing and shaking from the adrenaline of the hunt.

I could just imagine what it looked like from the highway, people driving by could see me, but there is no way they'd be able to see the rat. Crazy, lunatic, farmer Lloyd out zigging and zagging all over his field, yelling obscenities that would make a sailor blush, all the while whacking away at the ground with a pitchfork.

As I was finishing the turning, sure enough, another GD rat bolts from the pile! Off again goes Lloyd. This one wasn't quite so fast, got him in a minute or so!


P.S. They both got 'posted, haven't seen one since! I hates rats!

    Bookmark   December 24, 2009 at 11:30AM
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LOL!! Great visual, Lloyd......I can just see it :-)

I wonder if within the local rat community they somehow sensed the composting dead bodies of their brothers and decided your property was not an ideal homestead and moved off to safer territory?

Since I moved way from the city into a much more rural area I haven't seen any rats. No doubt they are there - they are ubiquitous - but there is less out here in the woods to attract them than there is in my former urban neighborhood. Now my problem is 'coons and they are creative little devils as far as accessing any sort of potential food source......compost, fertilizers, bird feeders, etc. And they're scary, too......aggressive little mothers! They could care less about the presence of my cat and dog.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2009 at 11:50AM
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If you decide to compost rice, make sure you bury that stuff as deep as you can within the pile, and for the love of god, do not turn it for like the next month or two! Rotting rice is the most horrific smell I've ever come across

    Bookmark   December 24, 2009 at 12:08PM
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Lloyd - The Great Rat Warrior ... he runs, he wacks, he spears and he always gets his rat. You're right about how that might look to passersby. You might expect dark-suited visitors inquiring about your mental stability.

Re: rats .... enough can't be said ... and my mother taught me not to use those words. My neighbor's yard is a maze of things being saved for the day when he will use them [never] and another neighbor has algerian ivy [ugh] thick in his yard and growing all over my fence...rats proliferate. So we put out poison-laced peanut butter for them.... and if any of the ferral cats eat them and croak, ask me if I care. Ooooh... gross and unfeeling talk for the day befor Christmas..... :]

    Bookmark   December 24, 2009 at 12:08PM
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To aid with the visual, the shed I'm talking about is on the left and the windrow is the one in back of it. The field is of course the field on the other side of the windrow. The highway is way off to the right. This picture is from the year I had the rats. Old timers tell me the presence of rats run in cycles, we'll see, I'm ready for them, bring 'em on.

We only use poison in the winter when the shed is closed up and no cats can get into it.

As far as rice, I've put lots of cooked rice into tumblers, never noticed it, problem or otherwise.


    Bookmark   December 24, 2009 at 1:27PM
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terrene(5b MA)

No rats here but there are plenty of other rodents and the usual mammals. Bird feeders are baffled with raccoon/squirrel baffles, and I feed modest amounts of food to the birds, so that the seed that spills or is thrown on the ground is usually eaten by the end of day.

My rodent control is generally done by 2 small female cats, one indoors and one that goes outside. Both are good mousers and one keeps the rodent population in check outside, while the other eliminated the mice from the basement and garage. The past couple houses I lived in were infested with mice when I bought them, but cats have eliminated them. A good mouser has the patience of Job and will sit for hours at a time for months on end, until they they are cleared out of the house.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2009 at 5:24PM
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I see sometimes cat nearby (not mine) but i still see tunnels made by rats. They are coming from neigbor's garden by making very long tunnels. I can't put poison because of my lonely lady hen who is an owner of my backyard in winter. Sometimes i managed to catch rat using spring device, but new rats are coming. I guess i need to dig hardware cloth deep in soil along whole fence, but who knows maybe they will find another way then.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2009 at 9:32AM
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Preparing rice for composting? What will people think of next?

    Bookmark   December 26, 2009 at 9:25AM
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val_s(z5 central IL)

I have rats that dig tunnels everywhere.

I don't doubt you when you say you've seen rats but could the tunnels be from moles?

We had mole problems the last year and they dug tunnels everywhere. I thought rats mostly scurry from place to place.


    Bookmark   December 27, 2009 at 7:05AM
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reg_pnw7(WA 7, sunset 4)

Norway rats tunnel like voles, deeper underground than mole tunnels which raise the surface as they go. All you'll see is a hole not quite big enough for your hand. And yes they'll tunnel right into the compost pile. You'll need hardware cloth totally enclosing the pile - bottom, sides, top.

Rats are a bit much for most cats. Terriers are the best for rats. Any terrier will do, but I like the pit bull terriers the best for ratting. They work well at keeping raccoons out too, where most other terriers are too small to match a coon.

Rat traps can work, but you'll constantly have new rats as you've noticed. Your neighbors have created perfect rat habitat for you.

If the rice has already started to spoil then there's no need to do anything to it before adding it to the compost. It's already composting.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2009 at 12:23PM
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 Build your bin on pavers to keep the tunneling rodents out. The worms will still get in. It will still drain if the rain gets in. Make a nice pad and when you turn your bins, you can sweep up the spillage afterwards.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2009 at 4:20PM
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