Finally! I took on the compost corner, strewn about by scratching chickens, and turned it into a tidy system. I’d been struggling with what to do about composting since we moved in. This would be my first opportunity to make compost, not just have food ever-decomposing in a large neglected pile.
I decided on a 3-bin system – because I think big and plan to do everything full bore, even if I never find the time. This particular construction project was long delayed because I wanted to use all scrap lumber leftover from our other projects. This included punky wood found on the property when we moved in, the pallets we collected back in October for our chicken coop, and odd-sized lumber from building our bottle fence & arbour. It was difficult because nothing matched and I didn’t want to buy anything new. Plus I’ve never built a compost system before and had some technical issues to work out on the ground.
So one afternoon when Scott was away, I decided enough is enough and I set out to build it. I dragged pallets here are there, deciding between orienting the bins east or north – I wanted to make them a full meter cubed, but didn’t have enough room in my chosen orientation. And I didn’t want it to fall apart. I settled on facing it away from the kitchen window and compromised so the bins are just under 3-ft wide.
Here is what I ended up with: pallets for side and back walls, set on bricks and secured to each other by cross pieces of scrap wood. Inner walls of leftover lumber covered with a variety of plastic fencing, hardware cloth, and OSB. Slots in the front edges of the walls so I can slide down incremental retaining walls. The idea here is that the retaining wall holds back compostables so the chickens can’t scratch them out, but allows the birds in to cherry-pick, turn the pile, and leave manure.
Other photos include the now-really-really-almost-done bottle wall, replete with tomatoes and cucumber vines, and *of course* a chicken photo.