composting

Instructions to Build a Really Big Compost Heap

This is the very short, very easy version of how to build yourself a Big Honkin’ Composter. The end result isn’t necessarily pretty, but you’ll have a compost heap that should be able to convert ALL of your year-round yard and kitchen waste into nice, crumbly, useable compost. The composter can hold approximately 3.5 cubic yards of material.

When I build them, I also double up the bottom and hole edges by folding them over and using a power stapler to secure them. Most people don’t own a power stapler, so I’ve left those steps out.

Ingredients:
– 4’ High Plastic Snow Fencing
– Thin, Weatherproof Rope or string
– Scissors

Project takes approximately 20 minutes.
Instructions:

Purchase a roll of plastic snow fencing from your local hardware store. They usually come in rolls of at least 50 feet, so you can introduce your friends and neighbors to composting as well.
Cut a length of nine feet of fencing.
Cut a hole approximately 18 inches wide and 8 to 10 inches tall about 8 inches up from what will be the bottom of the heap. You can cut one on both sides if you like so you can remove the composted material evenly from the heap. For added strength and to avoid tearing, you can weave some of your rope around the perimeter of the hole.
You may want to cut off some of the top of your heap at this point, or fold it and staple. 3 � feet is a good, comfortable height for most folks to be able to dump stuff over the top without straining. Cutting it back also makes the thing more stable but is not necessary.
overlap a single section of the cut ends of your length of fencing so that you have formed a cylinder. Cut off a length of string about a foot longer than your heap is high. Weave the string through the fencing to hold the ends tightly together and tie off the ends.
Choose a spot where your heap will get some sunshine and an even amount of rain. (I mention this because my first attempt at this was very frustrating. I put the thing directly under an eave of the house. Half in and half out of the rain. The half in the rain got soaked and the whole mess tipped over.) Fill the bottom of the heap evenly with grass clippings or leaves and mash down. Pull up on the edges of your heap as the compost compresses to keep it uniform.
There’s something strangely satisfying about turning what is usually a remarkable amount of solid waste into stuff that you can use.
Enjoy,
Mick

(Mick and Mikaela)

There’s something strangely satisfying about turning what is usually a remarkable amount of solid waste into stuff that you can use.
Enjoy,
Mick

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