Thursday, March 29, 2007
Compost bin blues
My compost bin took a hit a couple months ago, and this week, one of three sides fell completely over.
I built the bin from left over fencing last spring (http://jamhome.blogspot.com/2006/03/i-like-dirt.html), and damn... I was so proud of it! It was a real compost bin (as opposed to the compost *pile* we had to make do with over the previous fall and winter), made from reclaimed building materials, and the best part was that I built it all by myself. When I was constructing it, I remembered reading somewhere that you should add a floor in order to not loose nutrients from the compost into the ground, so I even managed to find some cinder slabs that I carefully and levelly set into the ground.
I built the U-shaped bin right next to the back fence, bordering the alley, where it sat, happily composting our coffee grounds, veggie scraps, fruit peels and occasional paper towels for over a year. I noticed a couple months ago that it looked a bit skewed, as if someone had backed into it's alley-facing corner, and figured I straighten it out once I removed most of the compost into the vegetable garden bed this spring. A couple days ago, I saw that the entire side had come undone and was laying in the alley; avocado shells and coffee filters were oozing out onto the gravel from atop the cinder slabs, splintered fence pickets were jutting up from the ground. So sad.
It's too soon to completely assess the damage. I just leaned the fallen wall onto the compost for now. Hopefully that's enough to keep everything in place until I can move the pile into the garden and do a little "remodeling." Any tips for when I do so? I was thinking of building a half-height fourth wall for added stability, but was worried about accessibility. I have a few weeks to think on it, but any advice is welcome :)
Yes, I took a photograph of my garbage. From the compost bowl on the kitchen counter: On top, that's some houseplant trimmings, dead flower heads from a bouquet, a couple napkins and a clemantine skin, all on their way to the broken compost bin.