Monday, March 30, 2009

new compost bin

Wanted to share our how to's on making the compost bin last week. This was at the top of the LONG list of things that needed to be done around here. Again...if you don't compost, it is much easier than you think. It doesn't smell. It really isn't gross. It is a great way to cut down on how much trash you throw away. And...you can make your own beautiful dirt. So, let me encourage you once again to consider composting. HERE is my old compost pile and the post about it. HERE is a post of a thriving compost pile and a good list of what goes in it. HERE is a post of our beautiful dirt.

Since we are in a new home and our neighborhood has some "rules" about things looking nice, we wanted our compost bin to look pretty good. The supplies were pretty cheap (less than $20) and it only took about an hour to make. Chuck hasn't built a wood work shop, so this was made on the driveway.

First we picked a spot that was going to get lots of sun. I also wanted it close to the door for easy access. You can see on the right of the picture the brown pile of dirt and scraps. That is where we were just throwing our compost until we had a bin. To get our pile started, we asked our neighbors for their dirt...yep...you heard that right. Our neighbors were planting some trees a few weeks back and I could tell they were going to throw their dirt out, so...we offered to take it off their hands.Then Chuck took some time planning what he was going to build. I had googled some ideas and showed him what I was thinking. I like to have at least 2 bins side by side. You can use one and let the other one sit and decompose.
Chuck used fence board to make the bin. They are really inexpensive and about the right size. 3 boards to make each side.Easy enough to put the 2 x 4 in the corners. Ours is on a slight hill so one end is taller than the other. The bin is roughly 6 feet long and 3 feet deep.



Here you can see that there is a small divider in the middle to keep the 2 sides separate.
We placed the bin (right on the ground - no bottom or lining) a little to the left of the temporary pile. Chuck was sweet enough to move the dirt for me.
Every area we have lived has such different soil. We have had very rocky soil, sandy soil and now the soil seems to have some clay in it. At first this dirt was almost impossible to get the shovel in (really hard and compacted). After adding the scraps from the kitchen, it has softened up a bit.
One of my requests was to have our pile near the hose. I like to add some water to our compost to keep it moist.I wanted to start with a before picture to compare once our compost starts working. As I have stated before, you need a combination of brown and green compost. Yard clippings, shredded paper, kitchen scarps, dryer lint, coffee grounds, tea bags, bunny litter, leaves...the list goes on and on. We tend to keep a bowl on the counter when meals are being prepared and then I pitch it into the compost bin each day (or after the meal if it is full). At least now I don't have to feel guilty for tossing a banana peel in the trash, I have a place to put it.


A big thanks to Chuck for the wonderful new compost bin. Nothing says I love you like building me a bin to hold my trash. =) What a good guy.

13 comments:

Lee and Bev said...

Great looking compost bin, Chuck! And I commend y'all for "goin' green!"

Tiffany said...

Looks great! Our compost bin is full of bunny litter right now. We need to even it out with some other stuff I think.

Proverb Mom said...

This is Allison (I taught the girls' Sunday School class yesterday).
This post is awesome! We just built a raised garden and I was about to research compost boxes, thank so much!

Karen said...

This looks great..... I am excited about mine as well but need to remember to use it! I like the idea of keeping a bowl or container on the counter to put scraps in.... I am going to do that... it is amazing how much we throw away or put down the disposal everday without really thinking about it!

How often do you turn yours? Have a great day:)

fitncrafty said...

That's great Chris.. I know what you mean about feeling guilty about tossing stuff out.

When the snow melted away I was happy to set up a bin myself. Last year we just threw it all into what we called the 'bunny pile'.

Chuck did a great job!

Smith Schoolhouse said...

great! I still need to start this I just haven't decided how to start since this isn't a permanent residence for us. I willl check out some of your links to get ideas!

Crystal said...

I am inspired!!!! Thanks for sharing this. I think it will go on my Hubby's "Honey do" list as the kids would love to be involved in that. They are actually doing vermicomposting at Girl Scouts : ) Blessings and I hope your spring is going well!!

Elle J said...

I remember my Grandpa had a compost bin "way out back" when I was growing up.Yours sounds very convenient and how cool!

Couple naive questions perhaps: Does it have a lid? How do you get wild critters from not digging/eating/messing in the bin and spreading it across your yard (we're raccoon country, or even birds for that matter)??

Rachael said...

My parents have always composted. My sisters and I always teased them about the scrap pan, but now I'm thinking about starting one myself. How about telling us what kinds of things CAN'T go in the pile? e.g. why no sauces?

Permission to Mother said...

Great job! Mine is going strong.

Lauren said...

Snazzy bin! This is along the lines of what I had in mind for mine, but couldn't get the hubby to agree to build it for me. My hoop bin is completely full, so I started a new, freestanding manure pile today. I'll just have to pretend it has a pretty border like yours.

K-Sue said...

Sigh...now I really know you all have left Florida. There's Chuck working in long sleeves in March without breaking a sweat...

Susan said...

Looks great. I mean, really, it looks super nice. Our compost pile is just a hole in the ground next to our garden. We aren't very good about turning it over. We put a lot of banana peals, egg shells, tea bags and salad garbage in ours...
What is the other side for?