Sunday, March 09, 2008

Compost Bin, Finally

Awhile back I did a post on the 10-dollar compost bin. When I realized that I would have to use an electric drill to put about a thousand holes in the bin, I left the project in the carport.

Finally, finally, I could take it no more; I was done throwing kitchen scraps and coffee grounds in the trash. How foolish. And each and every time I did it, Wendell Berry's entreaty to "Make a little compost of your kitchen scraps and use it for fertilizer," played in my head, over and over.

So, last week, I got out the electric drill and stood out on our back porch drilling hole after hole into the garbage can turned compost bin. All told, it took about 40 minutes to do all this--with breaks, because my fingers were getting pretty stiff from holding the drill.

If I had it to do all over again, I wouldn't have cut the bottom off the garbage can first. After letting it lie dormant in our carport for about six months it had settled into a sort of oblong cylinder; getting the cover to lock on securely became an issue.

This morning after breakfast, DJ and I got our respective shovels and starting digging a round-ish hole in the front yard by the garden plot that has been laying fallow since the summer before last. I cannot for the life of me find those directions for the compost bin on the internet, but I believe the depth to bury the bin was 6 inches. I think we got down about 3 or 4, but after filling the dirt back inside and around it, it was pretty stable. And I was able to get it looking round again so the lid would lock on. We'll see how the raccoons do with it.

I have been saving up a small container of scraps and old coffee grounds and DJ helped inaugurate the new compost bin, as shown by the photos. He enjoyed putting the first batch in so much we had to go back in the house and scrounge through the crisper for decaying organic matter; unsurprisingly, there was much to choose from.

After dumping the next batch in, DJ took his shovel and starting mashing it up; I think children are instinctively good at these kinds of activities; I'm looking forward to his continued desire to turn the compost as it starts percolating.
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