You may have seen this already on Instagram, but here’s the compost bin we built yesterday.
It was free, and its going to be an awesome addition to life over here. If you’re not already familiar with composting (I certainly wasn’t), here’s the basics;
“Compost” literally means ” to put together”. It is part of earth’s natural cycle of growth and decay, and farmers have been making and using compost for centuries. Farming taxes the soil, and composting is a way of putting nutrients back into that soil. Plants grow because of nutrients from water and soil, carbon dioxide in the air, and energy form the sun. Dead plants decompose, and their nutrients go back into the soil (Its really complicated and scientific and involves fungi, bacteria, insects, and the like.) Nutrients go into the soil and carbon dioxide back into the air, and the “humus” (not the kind you eat EVERY SINGLE DAY with pita chips) stays behind. This is what you use in your garden. As for what you compost, it needs to be about 25 parts brown matter to 1 parts green matter. Brown matter is dead leaves and things, and green matter is your apple core, crushed egg shell, etc.
I want to show my campers that things don’t have to be wasted, that even “trash” is beneficial. Your banana peel becomes soil, the soil nurtures the eggplants and tomatoes, and we eat the eggplant and tomatoes. Even my caffeine habit is beneficial; coffee grinds and tea bags can be composted.
So this is how we did it.
First, locate old trash bin.
Then, screw lid to the bin. (make sure and use tiny screws, because you don’t want anyone getting caught on the sharp end of a screw as it pokes out from under the lid.)
We built the stand out of unwanted two-by-fours. I think the long pieces of wood are 45 inches and the support beam is 15 inches from the ground. Yours can be taller, which would be nice if you want to dump compost directly into a wheelbarrow or something. We made our short because we wanted little kids to be able to turn it.
We found an old shower curtain and used a nifty sphere-cutter thingy (technical term right there) on the lid and the bottom end of the bin, so we could fit the rob through. Then we cut the hatch, and with that open were able to screw little wooden enforcements so that the rod doesn’t wear through the plastic as this thing gets heavy with compost.
You’ve also got to drill a bunch of teensy holes in the bin, so the decomposing gunk you put in there is well-ventilated. Just make sure the holes are small so you don’t get teensy animals trying to eat your old veggies.^This was the most fun. “Drill all the holes!!!”
We put these hinges on the door;
We also attached a latch to it, so we can close this opening and spin this guy around, mixing the decomposing matter.
Viola! Compost bin! Its a beautiful thing!
I love it because I love the idea that nothing is useless, and nothing is trash. Nothing wasted. I love the idea of giving as much as we take. I love the idea of nurture. I want to take care of things, and be intentional about my life.
(I’ll probably edit this post later when I’ve asked Drew what all the measurements were.)
For now, know that I’m stoke about this, and equally stoked about the three raised beds for the greenhouse we constructed yesterday;