Hello! And welcome back. It’s me, Desiree’ Celeste!
This may sound ridiculous, but the same level of excitement I felt about my first aloe plant is the level I felt over my first compost bin. I now am working on filling my fourth bin and lovingly look over my previous three, who are currently building heat and starting their breaking down process. If you are looking for a how to or a beginners guide on compost bins, this isn’t it! I haven’t even reaped the benefits of my first bin, so I am not prepared to help others with logistics, but I am more than prepared to help others build excitement!
I rent my home, and I used that as an excuse to not start a compost pile. I’ve used that excuse for the past 5+ years and this winter I decided that nothing can keep me from at least trying. No more excuses! My roommate and I both have cats, and we prefer the cat litter that comes in big tub style containers, we use the containers for so much around the house that we don’t feel trash guilt about them. I use these buckets for storage and intend to use them for my first container garden this spring. Then it hit me, why don’t I use them for compost?!?!?!??!$/&:@202&
I did a ton of research on creating my own bucket style compost containers and found that I had been overthinking this completely natural process for years. All the prep work I did for the containers was to drill holes along the bottom for adequate drainage and to allow buggies in to help along, if the buggies decide to do so. I then drilled holes along the lid to allow for air flow. The first container I drilled I made it more complicated than necessary, measuring and counting and making patterns of the drilled holes. The containers afterwards were more haphazard.
Living in Colorado, people assume we have snow all winter long, but that’s not the case. I was able to gather a ton of dry leaves from the yard for future use, as ‘browns’ are necessary for adequate decomposition. I store extra leaves in extra, not drilled, containers beside the compost container for ease of use. I really under shot how much compost I’d be making, so I didn’t collect enough leaves the first time. Now I have 3 full bins of leaves at the ready, which seems like a fair amount of leaf storage.
At this point, I decided to jump on in, setting the groundwork of each bin with leaves, and adding my kitchen scraps, then layering with leaves until full. Once each bin was full, I moved them out into a part of the yard where the soil sucks and the grass is trash, knowing that the compost liquids will seep through the holes to help the ground, and that the buggies from the lawn can find an oasis in my bins. In the future, I intend to find a way to catch the compost drippings for my household plants, but trying to figure out a way to catch drippings without hindering bugs from getting into the bins is breaking my brain.
I guess I never realized how much food waste I created before. I used to just throw my veggie scraps into a freezer bag for bone broth or into the yard for the birds and animals, but now I get to reap further benefits of my food scraps. The reason I was compelled to start my bins now is because I am hell bent on starting a garden this year and want great soil without spending the money on it. I am hesitant to garden directly into my yard soil, as it’s very clay rich and the amount of work it would take to make a garden fare well in this rental property is simply not worth it to me. I have heritage seeds that I am excited to try in containers in the yard, and am really hopeful that I will have some nutrient rich compost ready by then.
Also, I am so attached to these bins already that I am debating naming them.