Well, I’m excited to be able to use this blog as a way of cataloging growth; mostly my own, but I’ll throw some posts in here and there about trends I notice or exciting recent announcements like this.
Composting is something that I have messed around with for a little over a year, but now it’s time to get serious. I started out with a plastic green 18-gallon Sterilite tote box on sale from Walmart after Christmas of 2008.
I drilled holes in the bottom and around the top edge to allow for drainage and circulation; these are out of sight, the holes you see on the top were added for stacking purposes about 4 months ago. From there I added some newspaper, dried leaves, water, and then began adding compostable materials; this was stuff ranging from the ubiquitous egg shells and coffee grounds to bad produce and random bits of cardboard. However, I had always heard adding worms to your compost increased both the speed at which compostable materials converts to compost, but also their presence actually enhances the quality of the resulting compost. So I bought a bunch of red wigglers (funny name, right? Well they are actually called Eisenia fetida, but that’s not as fun.) and started on my quest for black gold. After about a year, and a brief scare that I lost all my worms due to an anaerobic environment, I am left with about 14 gallons of some really great compost which you can see below:
I put some palm fronds in there, which I regret because it seems to be taking forever for them to decompose, and they’re a bit unwieldy when I turn the compost over. Oh well, you live and you learn!
So the main reason I had such a small box was because I was living in a condominium, and just didn’t have much space. I recently moved into a house, and I decided I needed a bigger compost bin. This one was going to be big and sturdy, functional, and, best of all, I was going to get to use all my new tools in order to build the thing. The tools I got to use included the below pictured circular saw I purchased for $10, thanks Craigslist!
After drawing up a rough blueprint, and consulting someone much more knowledgeable than I about construction, I was off to Lowes! A bunch of 2″ x 4″ x 8′ boards, three 1″ x 4″ x 6′ boards, lots of screws, some U-shaped nails, a roll of galvanized hardware cloth, four gate hinges, and one latch later I had all the materials that would be needed to build my initial vision for this new box.
Here is a picture of the initial frame around which the remainder of the structure was built
Between driving back and forth between Lowe’s and my house a few times for material and time spent on actual construction, I would say I put in around 14 hours, between two days, to this project. I am extremely happy with the way it has turned out, but as I was building the box I had some ideas for ways to improve it. Here are the pictures which were taken after most of the construction:
Well, I messed up and didn’t have a concrete vision for the lid when I bought the materials, so I didn’t account for the difference that using 1″x4″ boards would leave me. I needed the lid to be flush with the rest of the bin so I could attach the latch, so I used the roughly 8″ piece I had cut from the 1″x4″ board as a temporary solution:
There are still a lot of things I want to do with the bin. I think it needs wheels because it’s entirely too heavy to move, which means I’ll have to put a floor on it so I don’t lose the compost.
Oh well, lots to do. See you next time!