|The compost bins are becoming fence boards again.|
Years and years ago, I'd made a pair of side-by-side compost bins out of old fencing materials. These compost bins have stood us in good stead, receiving leaves and food scraps and yard waste, and eventually returning rich black dirt.
But I've been attending a neighborhood garden club (one of the many treasures I've gleaned from joining NextDoor.com), and a talk by a Master Composter convinced me to try something new. Did you know that it's possible to get a certificate as a Master Composter? I didn't, but I do now.
|Adding compost to a garden bed, with help from a|
wheelbarrow, a pitchfork, and a bunch of muscle.
Morgan the Master Composter instead suggested metal garden fencing. She says, to do this you make one or two circular bins out of the fencing, using binder clips to close the loop.
You put these bins basically right in the garden, right where you're going to want the compost to be. One bin (the near one in the photo below) is the active bin, which you layer up like lasagna, alternating greens and browns. The possible second bin (in the picture below, it's to the right and it's empty, so it's hard to see) is for the browns that you keep in reserve.
The idea is that every time you drop more food scraps or green yard waste onto the pile, you then add more dry grasses or leaves (browns from the reserve bin) on top, and the whole thing decomposes in place without even stirring. The attention to layering is what keeps the pile decomposing nicely. And when it's all done, then you just unclip the binder clips, celebrate the compost that is exactly where you need a bunch of rich black dirt, and move the bin to a new place so you can start over.
So, I'm crossing my fingers that this works. What I liked about my homemade side-by-side compost bins is that I made them out of stuff I had lying around -- the set-up cost me nothing. In contrast, getting the metal fencing meant a trip to a hardware store [naturally, only after months of keeping my eyes peeled to see if I could snag it for free somehow, but without luck].
But I'm willing to splurge in hopes that this set-up actually performs as advertised. I admit that I'm totally fascinated by the fact that my vegetable peelings turn into dirt that then supports even more vegetables. Well, vegetables and lush patches of weeds, because it's my garden. But still, check out the kale forest in the background of that photo above . . . backyard miracle right there!
So if the vegetables can come full circle, I figure I can try a circular compost bin. Let the new compost era begin.