We’ve really been trying to produce little to no trash in our house. For a while, we just had an area of the yard we threw stuff in, but the dog always got into it. And the stray hound. And the crows. Not to mention when I would throw old veggies and fruit in they usually kept rolling down the hill so it wasn’t so much a compost pile as a compost acre.
I think over the past few months I priced out and diagrammed about 100 different ideas for a new compost bin…but they were all too expensive, too complicated, or too small. We had a few picket fence panels left over from the picket fence we built around the garden so I decided to put those to use and this is what we ended up doing:
Two picket fence panels and four 4’x4′ posts is what was needed. For the square wire “bin” inside I hammered four tomato stakes into the ground and wrapped it with chicken wire. An extra stake allows the front to be opened and closed easily. Once this one is filled up I’ll just add another chicken wire bin right next to it…and maybe another after that so it’s an actual three bin system.
I haven’t had any critter issues yet but if I do I’ll just add a picket fence panel to the front as well that can be lifted on and off brackets. I’ll paint the fencing to match the garden eventually. If I add another bay to the left of it with another picket fence panel I could have an area to hold mulch and sand nicely.
We keep an old coffee tin by the sink to collect scraps each day and then take it out to the compost pile. Things we compost:
Fruit, vegetables, peeling and rinds
Coffee grounds, tea bags
Eggshells, nutshells, all grains and rice
Stale bread, stale snacks
Leaves, grass clippings, dead plants (not weeds)
Paper towels, napkins, toilet paper rolls, tissues
Newspapers, non-glossy mail
Non-glossy cardboard packaging, paper bags
Dryer lint, vacuum cleaner bags with contents
Fireplace ashes, charcoal
And now we can add chicken manure, straw and shavings!
Make sure to check out the garden and picket fence posts to see the whole project!
How to build raised garden beds:
Heike Woolard says
You’ll want to feed a lot of those scraps to your chickens once they get a bit bigger. They love scraps. A friend of mine always freezes all of her fruit and veggie scraps for me. I then pick them up once every week or two. My girls are super excited when they see me coming with the bag(s). Especially in the summer they love the frozen scraps.
I love everything about this post! I want to start composting so bad!!
Have you ever seen Back To Eden? Its a documentary about organic gardening. Really good. http://www.backtoedenfilm.com/
You might not find yourself getting heat with this method, compost relies a lot on heat and I don’t see how you trap heat when you have nothing which allows anything but circulation of air.
Ashley Hackshaw says
Our existing pile has always turned to compost, there seems to be enough heat inside from the organic decomposition, it just takes a little longer. If someone wanted to speed it up they could just wrap the exterior in black plastic (contractor bags).