Trash Talking.

Larry and I just finished making a very respectable compost bin. I say respectable because all of our past efforts have been rather crude and lacking refinement. We've tried just mounding yard waste, we've tried leaning pallets up against each other, but we've never taken the time to make something with a bit of class. It's just waste, I get that. But my feeling is that every structure that goes into the yard needs to be in good taste.

The genesis of this project is kind of interesting. I was cleaning out my desk and files a few weeks ago and I came across a very old folder of information on of all things, septic systems. Our county has really cracked down on semi-country folk who don't have access to the public sewer. Anyway, this folder was given to us at a mandatory meeting we attended years ago and it contained all kinds of interesting info such as the merits of one-ply bath tissue. And also tucked inside were the plans for this compost bin.

I'm not going to bore you with a step by step kind of thing. But I am providing a series of photos as a kind of pictorial of the process. So at the end of my post I am including a link to the plan PDFs in the unlikely event you would like a set of instructions.

Hardware cloth! You know I love it. Larry made frames out of treated lumber we already had on hand. Then together we cut the hardware cloth and I nailed it onto the frames with giant staples.

Even though we had the lumber, our shopping list included hinges, latches, staples, and the wide hardware cloth. As with most projects, writing a list and shopping for everything at once really helps the project run smoothly.

Each set of two panels is hinged and then the two sets are attached to each other with these screen door style latches. The reason for this design is so that opening the bin to access or stir the compost, will be easy and convenient. Another plus is that the bin is easy to move by simply unlatching.

Larry has been busy with his yachting business so we had a few starts and stops. But once we had an afternoon to devote to it, we finished it in rather short order; except for my hand lettered sign. The sign took a fair amount of time and concentration, but I really think it's a fun embellishment for an otherwise lowly wire bin.

I have layered materials inside the bin. I started with hay that we happened to have, although I first drove over it with our riding mower to break it up. The next layer is really great decomposed waste that a nearby town gives away to anyone in need. I have brought home 6 or more buckets full for my mix. Finally I put freshly mown grass and then started the layering again. I have also begun saving all the green waste from meal preparation and tossing that in too. Now I am awaiting the worms I was promised by a friend. I wonder if they come gift wrapped?

In about two months I should begin to see some serious decomposition. Successful gardening begins with proper soil amendment and I admit, I'm feeling really good about this composting thing.

OK, let's move on to something with a higher aesthetic! Just look at the plums that are ripe on our trees~

We've had such a Mediterranean summer, weather wise, and the trees make me long for the coast of Greece.

Just look at the unharvested artichokes are announcing the end of summer. The purple is stunning.

The sweet little asters are blooming uncustomarily early. How is it that we're having autumn in August? Are there any signs of fall in your part of the world?

If you're interested in compost bin plans, click here for Page 1, and here for Page 2.

OK, on to prettier projects. Thank you for letting me dish the dirt~


1 comment

  1. A good compost system is priceless. We ran a three bin system at Pondside House. Now that we are in the village we send our bits and pieces to the town compost, to which we have access. We then don't have to worry about 'critters' or maintaining the system. Yours looks very good, and I'd build one just to have that great sign.