Update: We’ve been composting for 5+ years now using this DIY bin. Here are my tips for composting with kids.
It all started with trash day in College Station (where my parents live). I told my mom we were thinking about building a compost bin, and she said, “ohhh… I saw some good trash this morning that you might be able to use!” And so, she drove us to a house with piles of fence remains on the front lawn. I wish I would have taken a picture, but I didn’t bring my phone with me on that adventure. Andy threw all of the fence posts we could find in the back of the truck and brought them to my parents house. We salvaged 11 posts and made this beauty…
we Andy was working with…
Since my parents have better tools and a better set up, Andy decided to measure and cut all of the posts at their house. We know you need breathing room in a compost bin, so we decided on a lincoln log model… We were thinking about doing a 2 sided bin, one for leaves and one for food… but my mom told us that was a dumb idea, ha! She said the leaf side would quickly overflow and it would be harder to turn the smaller squares. So, in the end, we opted to forgo the middle wall, and made one big 4.5 feet x 2.5 feet bin. Here she is with the middle wall in tact.
And here’s where she lives at our house. In the far back corner of our U shaped yard. We’ve done some major bush trimming since these pics!
And closer… we cleared out a small pathway.
Here’s a view from the inside out…
This was a super simple build design. Andy bought pieces of 1/4 inch rebar that is designed to be staked into the ground. They looked like this:
Here’s piece numero uno getting laid out…
And here’s the building method in action… it’s grown up lincoln logs, folks.
He drilled holes in each post and just slid the posts onto the re-bar.
Andy does not believe in shoes while doing yard work. I don’t recommend this. He got crazy, insane poison ivy on his feet after the building of the compost bin and still refuses to wear shoes.
A sturdy bin in the making…
A barefoot Andy piecing together his puzzle…
And that, folks, is our new compost bin. So, we keep a little tupperware container by the sink for all of our fruit and veggie goodies like apple peels, coffee grinds, dryer lint, banana peels, egg shells, and tea bags. When our tupperware gets full… we take it out and dump her in the big bin. Here’s the inside mini bin… oh lalala…
Andy grew up with a compost pile, and my parents just got a Wizard bin that has a cover and allows for easy rotation. Our DIY compost bin cost less than $10, and we just use a shovel to rotate the goods. I think I’m going to do some research and find out exactly how it all works. I’ll share those deets soon. Do y’all have any good composting tips? Do you have a bin? I’d love to hear…
Comments & Reviews
[email protected] says
I need me a new compost bin. I had one at the other house that I made from wire. I use to have one of those fancy ones you fill up and twirl around. I didn’t like it, things seen to break down better for me in homemade compost bins made right on the ground. It’s funny I seen this post because I am planning on making me a compost bin either today when I get off work (getting off early) or tomorrow (taking whole day off) provided it doesn’t rain. Everytime I put in for time off to get some work done around the yard it rains. Keeping my fingers crossed. Thanks for sharing!
Jamie Dorobek says
Fingers crossed for no rain! We love our compost bin!
I love the grown up Lincoln log idea, but how much stuff falls out between the spaces?
I was also going to comment that it was poison ivy. I learned about that stuff the hard way. It can give you the reaction even if the plant is dead. If you touch it you should wash with dish soap in cold water whatever body part came in contact with the plant. I only commented because poison ivy was a special kind of torture to me and I don’t wish it on anyone hahah.
I love the compost bin though 🙂
Kathleen Sullivan Kaska says
It WAS poison ivy…I saw it in the photos along the stockade fence. I’m so allergic that I started to itch just looking at the photos! Oh…and nice Lincoln Log concept on the bin.
Jamie Dorobek says
Good to know! Thank you, Kathleen!!
I love that this is one of the first home improvement projects you took on! Very wise-you can’t start soon enough to make soil amendment for your garden! I also love that you salvaged the wood! I don’t love that Andy got a poison ivy rash. Does that mean it’s in your yard?
I have 3 prefab composters and a tumbler plus a worm bin. The composters are for yardwaste and the tumbler(of which I am not a fan) and the Worm Chalet are for kitchen wastes. I try to eliminate opportunities for critters to get into the kitchen scraps. Somehow they’re not attracted to the wormbin. Congratulations and happy composting!
Jamie Dorobek says
It might not have been poison ivy, but it was some kind of crazy rash all over his feet! Why don’t you like the tumbler? We almost got one of those!