My 4-by-4-foot open, wooden compost bin worked well for years, but the compost material was heavy to turn. When we rescued a dog from the local animal shelter and discovered that she liked to dig into the compost bin, we knew we needed a more secure compost system.
I discovered these 22-gallon barrels, with holes in the sides and lids, at the hardware store and purchased two. I feel as if I have built a better mousetrap. I throw kitchen scraps — along with leaves, wood chips, lawn clippings and soil — into the barrels. Last summer, I made 12 bins of compost (about 260 gallons).
The bins sit in the sun and “cook” fast, breaking down the organic material; the holes provide necessary aeration; the barrels are easily moved around the garden on a trolley or handcart; and rain can get in through the holes in the lids. I also drilled several drainage holes in the bottoms for the excess fluid to escape, and put the bins on bricks to keep them from sinking into the ground. In winter, I move them close to the house.
These compost barrels are ideal for a family that generates small amounts of garbage. They are compact, rodent- and dog-proof and not unsightly even in the smallest.
Whether you want to learn how to grow and raise your own food, build your own root cellar, or create a green dream home, come out and learn everything you need to know — and then some!LEARN MORE
At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).
You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.