We compost everything at our house from garden waste to table scraps, unfortunately we are lazy composters. Given the size of our gardens I produce a lot of garden waste and my method is basically to keep piling it up on top of the compost pile. Unfortunately I never seem to get around to turning the pile so, while I’m sure we had some terrific stuff at the bottom, the top of the pile made it hard to get to any of the compost. This meant I needed to come up with a new approach.
So last fall I had someone come and build me a new compost bin. Picture a capital E laying on the ground about 12 feet in length. The bin is made of 8×8 timber lumber with the bottom rows held in with rebar. Needless to say it is going to last me a long time.
Now I have two side by side bins (each half of the E). During the winter and garden season we just keep piling all of our organic material on the left side mixing greens and browns as best we can. By early summer the pile is large so it’s time to turn it. The first step is to clear out the ‘old compost’ from the right side of the E. This is the material transferred last season and left to compost on it’s own. An easy way to sift out any large twigs or un-composted material is to place a piece of 1/4 inch fencing material over top of a large bucket and just sift the compost. This year we used our good compost to mound up our potatoes.
Once we have cleared the right side of the E, it’s time to rotate the newer material. I do this by using my front end loader and transferring the material from the left side to the right, mixing up the material and using a recently purchased chipper to chop up larger material. Then we just leave this material to do it’s thing and by next season we will have another great pile of compost for the garden.