Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Easy Compost Bin

 Our compost system seems to keep evolving.
Back in Florida, we did trench composting,
as we lived in a HOA, and couldn't keep a compost pile.
When we moved to our homestead here in NC,
the compost bin (shown above) was left from the previous owners.
We've been using it all along the three plus years we've been here.
Last year, I started an open yard waste pile,
just for branches, prunings, and twigs.
I've wanted to create a larger compost area,
so that eventually, I can supply my own top dressing for the veggie garden.

I toyed with the idea of building a pallet compost system,
but since I would have had to collect more pallets, a new thought came to mind.
Since I already had cattle panels, conduit and chicken wire on hand,
this simple compost bin came to life fairly effortlessly.
It began by cutting one cattle panel in half
and securing it in place with a few pieces of 5 foot pieces of conduit.
 The saw-zal made quick work of cutting the cattle panel sections.
They come in lengths of 16 feet and are 50 inches wide.

 Being a scrapper by nature,
I used these wire ties that I've been saving
from the coffee bags I buy.
They seal the bag shut in case you don't use it all,
and they worked well in this application.

Two were enough to hold the sections together.
I also used these on the arch in the new raised bed.
Worked like a charm! 

The holes on the cattle panel would be large enough to let some of the composted material through,
so I added chicken wire to hold it all in.
I've had a full roll of chicken wire laying around for a while,
so it felt good to use it for something that would get plenty of use.
The easiest way to attach the chicken wire
was to lay the cattle panel on top of it,
cut it to size and then add your ties.
In this way, the weight of the cattle panel
prevents the chicken wire from rolling back on itself.

 The way the side portion of the cattle panel was cut
made it easy to run through the back piece.
This helped it slide right in and added a bit of stability.
Since this is the back of the bin,
no need to worry about anyone getting stabbed by the spikes.
I could bend them over if it was a problem,
but there's really no reason for anyone to be behind it.
Blood and sweat, but no tears!

The bricks were another thing not being used around here,
and they make a great frame for the bin.
The left side of the bin is already being used for the coop shavings,
and we'll add kitchen scraps and yard waste as it accumulates.
Once this side is filled up,
we'll start on the other side.
I can always expand it and add another section
if I feel the need.

I'm pretty stoked about the way the garden is coming together.
It feels good to have created this bin
without the help of YouTube, Pinterest or any living soul.
Maybe I'm getting better at bringing my visions to fruition.
Well, there's a lot more of that to do.
What's your favorite way to compost?

Other posts about composting:


  1. What a great project! I love how creative and resourceful you are. I'm glad to know I'm no the only one that has saved those coffee things. The first compost bin I bought (around 30 years ago) was one of those that turns, to mix things up. I still have it, but found that it generally makes everything into clumps, so I mostly use one of the stationary bins like your original one. I had a pallet system before getting that one, but we have too many wild critters here for that. I see the occasional mouse peering up at me when I open the lid, but at least the raccoons, possums and I'm guessing rats can't get into it.

    1. Yes, I do have some concern about critters, but we'll see how it goes!

  2. Wow - what a nice compost bin! I have 2 that are like the one left at your home. We opted for the closed plastic ones because of the wildlife in our area. I wish we did open bins like you've built. You can fit so much more in them. You've done an amazing job coming up with it!!

    1. I may end up using it just for yard waste, if critters become a problem. But, that's Plan B. ;0D

  3. Your new bin is brilliant! Well done! I like how you saved the coffee bag ties, I never would have thought of that. So nice to find a use for things that otherwise get thrown away.

    Trench composting was also a brilliant idea with the HOA restrictions. (Pretty silly, if you ask me.)

    1. Yes, we love to repurpose around here.

      Thanks for the kind words.


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