Homemade Compost Bin

Homestead Hygge-lism

What goes hand in hand with a freshly dug and planted Victory Garden?  Well, a compost bin of course.  Surely, this was something that we would be able to achieve by recycling and reutilization something we have around the house as we did with the garden border.

Now I don’t condone purchasing large plastic anything, but chances are that most of us have a big plastic Rubbermaid container somewhere in their attic, basement or wherever.  Surprise, surprise we had one from years ago that was sitting empty.  

This container will make for one of the quickest and easiest compost bin conversions ever.  Easy enough for even the boys to do most of the work.

A good compost bin needs to satisfy a few prerequisites:

  1. Be large enough to hold at least enough compost to cover the garden bed in the fall for tilling into the soil before the winter comes.  Then it can be restocked for another round in the Spring prior to planting.  
  2. Have a cover to aid in keeping the critters out and the smells in, but air needs to circulate, so there needs to be holes in the lid.  
  3. It also needs to be kept moist with regular wetting, so there needs to be holes in and around the bottom to let the water strain through and drain.

A Rubbermaid has all of these features, except for the holes and that is a quick remedy with a cordless drill and a decent sized drill bit.  So easy a child could, and a even did, do it, two children to be exact.  Please note, my children only use power tools under strict supervision.  I would have said responsible supervision, but it is typically me that is doing the overseeing so I’m not sure that would apply.

After completion, we start our compost with a simple base layer of a little mulch and some of the grass that we cleared for the garden, root side up.  We will alternate food scraps like salad leaves, egg shells, fruit peels (light on the citrus fruits) and coffee grounds, with additional mulch, cut grass and dead leaves. Stirring occasionally.

With any luck, one day this chunk of plastic will be able to produce enough compost to offset the negative impact that its own production caused.

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Victory Garden Time

Spring has sprung and it is time to get those seeds in the ground.  Not unlike the tough times of the World Wars, victory garden seems the appropriate title for this year’s Spring planting.

This year’s victory gardens will serve the same purpose that they were originally coined to do, supplement our food supply and boost our morale.  With no reasonable end in sight to the social isolation and quarantines, food supplies have dropped and finding the freshest fruits, vegetables and herbs will become harder and harder to come by.  Nothing is fresher than something just plucked from your backyard garden.  On top of having the freshest and healthiest food possible, a victory garden will supply you with something productive to do during your many long days at home.

Caring for a plant from seed until it fruits also carries a sense of accomplishment and gratefulness, something that we are in dire need of at the moment.   

We are currently in a leased home, and have not requested permission to dig and till up half the lawn.  Instead we may pursue some raised garden beds.  Regardless, now is the time to get those seedlings planted and going.  We personally have started a couple small trays of lettuce, spinach, beans and peas, that are just now starting to sprout from seeds.   

We also potted some young tomato and strawberry plants that have a jump start on the season.  I look forward to watching these plants grow and produce food.  I look forward to eating what they produce even more!

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