More Composting Fences

SustainableScientist has been getting a lot of traffic this past year for the composting fence we built in 2009.  A lot of that traffic comes over from Willi Galloway’s DigginFood site, where she featured our fence during its construction.

Currently, the fence needs to be fed. It is asking for another 12″ of material to top it off. Don’t ask me where the fence filling goes; it’s not like there is compost falling out the bottom. Still, it continues to provide an interesting visual barrier, and we have no trouble keeping it fed with the pruning of our many shrubs. Weeds and other vegetable debris I prefer to add to the bins, which produce compost that I can put back into the garden.

Composting Fence in 2011 with chicken train cars in foreground

I thought it was time I featured some other fences (“enough about me; what do you think about me?”), as a resource for those interested in building their own compost fence.

When I was designing my fence I could find only two references for composting fences, both local to the Seattle-area.  One was in the yard of local garden architect Jennifer Carlson, the other was built by the Boy Scouts for the City of Lake Forest Park.

Finally, I recently saw a composting fence on a trip to Whidbey Island. It was just NE of Penn Cove Pottery on Highway 20. They used straw to create the barrier and welded mesh wire sheets to hold it all in. I don’t know if it was intentionally, but I like the swoopy wave effect of the straw layers.  I wish I had used these sheets rather than the thinner, rolled wire, because the sheets are much more rigid than the rolls; whereas my fence filling bulges to varying degrees, the sheets allow for a relatively flat plane.  They have also added facing to the posts to hide where the grid has been attached to the posts.  Very tidy.

Composting fence in Coupeville on Whidbey Island, WA

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This entry was posted in compost bins, composting fence, DIY, update. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to More Composting Fences

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hi there… hope to know whether you believe the fence did a bit of soundproofing? I have always thought it was a terrific idea ever since i saw the post on willi galloway’s website. While looking for a solution to our noise issue, I recalled your composting fence and thought it would provide the necessary density and be attractive at least some of the year.

    • jkmcintyre says:

      Interesting thought! I bet it would be more effective than a traditional fence at softening noise, particularly if you filled it with a material like hay rather than twigs etc. Good luck!

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