Beg Explain patiently to professional carpenter husband over several months that current compost bins are old and too small and in the wrong place. Paint dazzling word pictures of abundant food and rich soil that would result from beautiful new compost bins.
Step 2: Research. Turns out it’s not easy to find a good set of plans! Most of the compost bin instructions out there are for recycled pallet bins or a couple of other common designs that were dismissed by said husband as either too ugly, too expensive to build on our budget, or lacking in lateral or other significant supports. We did end up finding these useful plans from the City of Vancouver, and this became our base idea. I figured that if these plans would keep Vancouver compost dry in the winter monsoons and safe from raccoons and other city critters, they were good enough for us.
Step 3: Take stock of existing supplies and recycle as much as possible. Can you believe the fr#@%!*g price of wood these days?! Skipper recycled our previous deck stairs and some cedar posts that he rescued from a job site a year or so ago. He salvaged as much of the old bin’s cedar as he could. We bought a small amount of pressure-treated wood for the base, a small amount of cedar for the front pieces, some hardware cloth to rodent-proof the bins, and a small number of assorted screws and other bits and bobs, and we’re still into this for almost $300. Hence the large number of online plans for recycled pallet compost bins!
Step 4: When the good weather arrives—start building!
We decided to raise the bins off the ground for both rodent-proofing and to make shoveling a little easier on the back.
It’s our equivalent of Rob at OneStraw‘s Compost Bin of Dreams. It’s hard to convey through these photos just how sturdy and stable the whole thing is–ready for many tons of compost to be produced in the years to come. The Skipper is pretty psyched; he’s even taken to pilfering all the fruit peels shed by his crew at work each day and bringing them home in a bucket “for me”. :) Most importantly, the bin’s new location clears the way for the chicken coop, and the bigger size anticipates the fabulous chicken manure and litter that will be piling up in the not-so-distant future.
Apologies for the long hiatus between posts recently. As you can see, we are now Making Progress in a big way on our spring plans. I have lots more to report on, so will be trying to post more often. Stay tuned!