Saturday, February 26, 2011

Gearing Up To Garden 4

Many of you have a gardening season that starts much earlier than ours. For that reason, I'm going to re-visit some posts from the past about starting seedlings, preparing the soil and more. I hope you find them to be useful!

Compost Bin - Zero Dollars
Originally published June 24, 2009

We have lived here way, way too long for me to be telling you that we just built a compost bin.

We just built a compost bin. There. I said it.
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All those years, we put the weeds and such in a round metal wire thing, where they instantly dried up and nothing happened. All those years we put the henhouse straw/manure on the garden in the fall, tilled it in, and hoped for the best. Back when we had rabbits, we put their little nuggets around our trees with the little nuggets from the wild rabbits.

But now, we have a compost bin. Best of all, we made it out of stuff we had laying around, and did not spend even one penny.

I guess you could tell it wasn't exactly 'new', eh?

I'm not sure if you can see the one on the left, but we started with three old wood pallets, scrounged for various uses (weight in the back of the truck, firewood, something to put under my stash of ceramic tile for mosaics, etc.) Pallets work well because they have all those slats with space between them, allowing air to circulate through your compost pile. Also, the part about them being free is always nice.
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The fasteners are deck screws and drywall screws, both left over from building the house.
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Basically, you just find places where the wood meets and screw the pallets together.
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Within fifteen seconds it became apparent that we would need a door on the front, to keep Little Bit out of the compost. "Is this my new playhouse?" she asked hopefully. She's so deprived.
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We found a piece of sub-floor (also left over from building the house) and it was just the right size. Hubby found some hinges we had laying around too.
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Of course, sub-floor is 5/8 inch thick, and heavy, and pulled the whole thing sort of cattywampus..so we grabbed some 2x4 pieces from the wood pile to make a door holder-upper. Still free!
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Nice! I mean...really...think about what we're going to put in here!
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I'd give Little Bit about another 15 seconds before she finds that gap and gets the door open and starts hauling her Little Tyke plastic chairs (and dishes! and Barney!) in there.
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Hook and...other hook to the rescue!
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Beauty-ful!
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Taa daa!!
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It's way back by the barn and the garden. You can't see (or smell) it from the house, so it doesn't really ruin the ambiance of Ten Things Farm.

Over the course of the next day or three, we put in layers of henhouse straw, rabbit manure from the neighbor animals (the ones whose pig chased me!), weeds, grass clippings, used tea leaves...layer upon layer. We watered it too, and guess what! It's giving off heat, breaking down all that stuff into fabulous compost for our garden, orchard, flowerbeds...

We should have done this a long time ago! Then again, we had to wait until we'd accumulated all the odds and ends it took to put it all together. :)

If you want to, you can build your own compost bin too! Happy composting!

6 comments:

Alla said...

So glad to hear about others like me who put off. LOL I've been going to build a compost bin for a while now too. I do need to find some pallets though. You've inspired me, I'm going to do it!

Ten Things Farm said...

Well, Alla, the way I see it, we do what we can, when we can. I've seen over on your blog that you're mighty busy...so it's all good!

Verde Farm said...

Hi Ten Things Farm-so glad you linked up to Farm Friend Friday. I love your post and you make me feel better for procrastinating with the compost bin. I want to compost and we have plenty to use but for whatever reason--it’s intimidating to me. What if we put the wrong stuff in it--how do we get it built and you just gave a great overview of how you did it. I am going to have a bin this spring--I must.
So glad to find you!
Amy at Verde Farm

Ten Things Farm said...

Thank you for your kind words, Amy! Don't sweat it too much - Mother Nature takes care of most of the work with water, microbes and air. You really can't go wrong, because if it doesn't 'work' for some reason, you have at least stored all yor organic matter in one place!

JoyceAnn said...

Hi ~ Just blopping over from " Farm Friend Friday " to say hello. We have one of those homemade pallet compost beauties too (LOL) , it works great.

~ Farm Blessings ~

Ten Things Farm said...

Welcome, Joyce Ann! We've had this compost bin for a season now, and it works just fine...and the price is right! :)

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