Sunday, February 13, 2011

Our Practically Free Three Bin Compost System

One of our first projects this season was to replace our brown plastic composter with a more workable system. After lots of reading and research I decided on a system that uses recycled wood pallets. I needed seven and one had been left here after the kitchen construction. I asked Steve Sprinkel, intrepid Farmer of Farmer & the Cook fame where I might get some and he said "Out back of the store." With the help of another farm friend, Jon Wilk, we loaded the needed six pallets into our trunk. The roll of wire to put the bins together cost around $3.00. Once John (Allen) recovered from the flu he brought from Chicago, we got to work. In less than one hour we had our system built.
Then today we shoveled out the mess in the plastic composter, a mix of dried out stuff, matted grass clippings and petrified veggie scraps and wet it down and added some alfalfa meal to get the process started. The new system makes it easy to turn the pile and the larger size means we can compost more of the yard waste as well as kitchen scraps and newspapers. The bins are discreetly hidden from view of the house by some large bushes but maybe we'll paint them in fun stripes one of these days.  The old plastic bin will hold the "browns" to add to the mix when we dump kitchen waste. The system is also positioned close to the raised beds and the outdoor sink so we can easily dump carrot tops and other things before we take produce into the house. One tip: wear gardening gloves, the pallets are very splintery wood!

1 comment:

  1. Hey Pat,
    Hope you are well.
    Synchronicity! Russet and my compost container fell apart over the NH winter and I was thinking about how i could use pallets to build a new one.
    And then, voila, from the universe via your blog I got the answer.
    Thanks and keep up the good work of democracizing art.