The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Homemade trellis panel compost bin

Homemade compost bin

Although I would love to be giving every bit of the local school's food waste to the worms, I don't want to overload the bin, so I needed to come up with some kind of critter-proof compost bin to take care of the excess.  I settled on a simple (and free) design using vinyl lattice trellis panels Mark's mom found for us on the side of the road (thanks, Rose Nell!) tied together with the plastic baling twine they now use to bind up strawbales.  I also used a few pieces of rope that Rose Nell got us for free when a rope factory went out of business.

Adding wood chips to the compost pileWhile my bin wouldn't stand up to steady gnawing from Lucy, once I laid down a thick layer of wood chips inside, tossed in the excess scraps, and topped it all off with another layer of wood chips, the bin became so unappealing that our dog didn't even give it a second glance.  Hopefully wild animals will be similarly uninterested.

I suspect the bin will reach capacity about the same time the worms come up to full production.  At that point, I might decide to pass the partly decomposed compost through the worm bin to turn it into value-added worm castings, or I might just let the compost keep decomposing by itself.  Either way, I'm looking forward to our first big mass of homegrown compost being ready to go on the fall garden.

Our homemade chicken waterer is easy to build, allowing you to make a waterer that fits your coop perfectly.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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