November 02, 2020
Last weekend, we decided to finally put in our own compost bin. Initially we were going to buy a nice rodent proof composter, however due to financial restrictions, we decided to make one ourselves, plus we enjoy a good DIY project in which we save money. Where I live in Ferndale Michigan, we have alot of bars and restaurants, and a rat problem. It was extremely important that I find a compost bin that is rodent proof. I found a project that kept the cost under $30, which you can find here:
I went to Ace Hardware which is franchised, and usually locally owned, so I prefer to support a small business owner when I can. I paid $23.00 for my galvanized trash can with lid. My better half drilled holes in the lower half as instructed in the link above, so that the earthworms can get through. If you start now, and you don't have enough earthworms because the weather is getting colder in the north, a good cheat would be to go to a local tackle shop and buy some earthworms. Make sure its earthworms and not some other critter! Make sure you add some soil as instructed so the earthworms have some insulation.
We have a dual trash bin in our kitchen under our sink. One is for trash, the other is for compost. We add some shredded paper bags to the bottom of the compost bin in our kitchen, and then add the compost items. You want to make sure you follow the strict guidelines of what is green and brown compost items, and do not add dairy, meat, or bread.
Here is another useful link / PDF to download by Christine Wen and Joe Van Rossum on Making and using compost in the garden from the University of Wisconsin:
In this PDF there are two tables, one is for Materials to compost such as green and brown materials and the other table is for compost problems that you might encounter and solutions on how to balance the issues.
We have a black walnut tree in our neighbors yard as an example, so we cannot compost the leaves, or nuts as it could hurt future plants. We will instead just stick with our kitchen scraps, and sticks, or plants that we can easily identify.
You can see all the pictures on Instagram of our compost bin. We will share more pictures as the weeks go by. So far, there is a nice gray/white mold growing, which means the compost is going in the right direction!
Let us know if you have made this, and share your pictures.
Visionary for the Ardent Habitat
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