One big take away from our gardening class last spring was that composting doesn’t need to be complicated. Sure, you can carefully control your browns and greens to ensure faster composting. Sure, you can use red wriggler worms to compost quickly indoors. But you can also just create a compost pile and let nature do its thing. This low maintenance type of composting sounded like the perfect plan!
Last year started a simple compost pile in our yard. We threw in food scraps and lawn trimmings. I bought a pitchfork (hooray for Amazon Prime!) and we turned it fairly frequently. Although the odor was minimal and things were decomposing fairly rapidly, the neighborhood dogs seemed to think it was fun to dig in the compost and drag things out and scatter them across the yard.
After picking up the 100th eggshell strewn across the lawn, I exasperatedly said, “Ok, this is enough! We need to change up our compost system!”
I looked into getting a tumbler. I liked the idea a lot, but they’re expensive and I couldn’t even imagine the shipping cost to get one here! Trench composting certainly wouldn’t work since our ground is frozen for most of the year. Some of the wooden systems that I investigated looked great, but then I remembered the cost of lumber! Eventually, I stumbled on the idea of using pallets as a compost bin. This would be very doable; pallets are very easy to come by.
This week we stopped by the grocery store on our home from work each day and filled up the Jeep with pallets. We were careful to get pallets that had the same dimensions. We also made sure to get pallets that didn’t have big gaps between the slats so that the compost wouldn’t fall out of the sides.
I spent time researching a number of different pallet compost plans (links below) and decided to build one with two sections. We decided to attach the sides with wire and to build doors on the front.
Saturday was a gorgeous 68-degree day, so Kyle decided to spend the afternoon building the compost bin. We picked a location in the backyard that was near the garden, but not visible from most places in the house. I helped Kyle haul the pallets to the backyard and then went on my way to get some other chores done.
Forty-five minutes later I walked into the backyard to see a completed compost bin.
“Wow, that was quick!” I said to Kyle. “I’m impressed with how handy you are.”
“Well, you know what they say,” he replied, “If the ladies don’t find you handsome, they better find you handy.”
I laughed and rolled my eyes at the same time. Every time I compliment Kyle on building something or fixing things around the house this is his response. My non-witty response is the same as always, “I guess it’s a good thing I find you handy and handsome.”
Thanks to my handy hubby we now have a place to keep our compost this summer. Hopefully soon we’ll have some dirt to put in our next project- raised beds!