Ways to Compost

Way to Compost:Final Effort LevelMaterials NeededDesigns Space NeededTime to Mature
Backyard Food DigesterMediumOld garbage canFood Digester courtesy of Tilth AllianceSmall6 months-1 year
Barrel CompostLow to MediumPurchase a barrel or…Make your own tumblerSmall3-6 months
Worm BinLowAccording to designRubbermaid Bin courtesy of Tilth AllianceSmall6 months-1 year
Plywood Bin courtesy of Tilth Alliance
In the GardenMedium Chicken wire and stakes(coming soon)Medium1 year
3 Bin SystemHighAccording to designWood and wire courtesy of Tilth AllianceLarge3-6 months
2 Bin SystemWood and wire
*still under construction, stay tuned for links to design and posts about how each way can work best for you!

Latest Com’posts

  • Way to Compost 4: The Barrel or Compost Tumbler
    We bought our first house nine years ago (still here!), and the first thing I looked for was a place to build our compost pile. I found a nice, hidden corner for the food digester and a spot under the two hackberry trees in the back for a version of the 3 bin system. ButContinue reading “Way to Compost 4: The Barrel or Compost Tumbler”
  • Who’s Down There?
    Do you remember the film the series that came out in 2006, “Planet Earth?”  It was, and is, both beautiful and incredible. New technology allowed the film artists to zoom in from tremendous distances with crystal clear clarity. Such groundbreaking camera work is not only visually stunning, but scientifically important in studying the behavior ofContinue reading “Who’s Down There?”
  • Which Way?
    I’ve tried composting lots of different ways: …worm bins made out of Target plastic drawers on wheels, passively aerated piles with perforated PVC pipes buried underneath, plastic garbage bins buried, then filled, lidded, and left for a year or more, long enough to become quite a popular raccoon latrine (left, with three, large pinecone deterrents),Continue reading “Which Way?”
  • Way to Compost 3: The 3 Bin System
    As an intern on an organic farm, I used to compost a lot of raw farm material. The farm was certified biodynamic, which meant that as much as possible, we strived to be a closed system—a farm “organism.” Very few inputs came in (coffee and chocolate were the much needed and celebrated exceptions), and noContinue reading “Way to Compost 3: The 3 Bin System”
  • Compost where?
    There are two important places where compost happens in nature: the forest floor and inside stomachs. The forest floor is a slow, sweet smelling compost pile we call duff.  Duff even sounds muted and mysterious, a substance with tiny secrets and tantalizingly familiar smells. Leaves created through the miraculous process of photosynthesis—a process made possibleContinue reading “Compost where?”
  • Backyard Tributary
    Over the next few days, many people in the U.S. will gather, prepare, give thanks for, and eat a beautiful variety of foods. Might be turkey, might be tres leches, baba ganoush, mac ‘n cheese, or roasted pumpkin and wild rice. Then, the leftovers. The last iterations of soup and sandwich give way to what? Let’s imagine, then re-imagine, how to care and even give thanks for all that we have left over.
  • Way to Compost 2: Worms
    They are born, eat, breathe through their skin, and burrow beneath us in the darkness of the soil. Darwin described them as “the intestines of the earth” and went on to say that “it may be doubted whether there are many other animals which have played so important a part in the history of theContinue reading “Way to Compost 2: Worms”
  • How?
    A few years ago, one of our best loved chickens died.  Despite her constant search for a hole in the garden fence, Cacciatore was a wonderful earwig eater and provided our family with beautiful, light brown eggs.  Mom liked having her around while she was weeding, so instead of burying her way out in theContinue reading “How?”
  • Why Compost?
    Let’s talk about compost—what it is and why we need to make it happen now more than ever. Every time we eat plants or animals who eat plants, the nutrients they and we need to grow are taken from the soil and put into our bodies for energy. We burn it as energy, but thereContinue reading “Why Compost?”
  • Way to Compost 1: The Backyard Food Digester
    For gardens and people in the city, room and time are big obstacles to composting.  A food digester, sometimes known as a green cone, is perfect if you want to keep organic matter out of your garbage but not work too hard, take up too much space, or think too much about composting it.  Basically,Continue reading “Way to Compost 1: The Backyard Food Digester”