Starting a Compost Area

We started a compost area in our backyard from what was left from the previous owners. They must have used this space to toss in their grass clippings, but we rebuilt it to make it a compost area for our future vegetable garden.

Compost is a great option for using up those leftover fruit and vegetable cuttings you might normally toss away in the garbage can. At times, too, we’ve had to toss in whole fruits or vegetables that have gone bad before we have gotten to them. We don’t end up in that situation as much now, as I’ve gotten into the habit of freezing anything that may start to turn for the worse (or putting it in a pot (potatoes/onions) to grow!).

You can compost in small apartments or on acres of farmland. It’s easy to get started and you’ll find it is fun and cost effective if you’re taking care of your own plants or have your own food garden going. Compost bins can be small and live in the kitchens on the counter, can be in specifically made barrels or open air like ours. Read more about composting and it’s benefits here.

This is what our compost area started out as.

open-air-compost-before-1

I cleaned it up a bit to get a better idea of how we could use the space.

Chris used pallets we picked up from my work for free to frame it out better. I asked that he leave the top and front side with the ability to be taken off and opened, this way it will be easier to turn the compost and rake it around with the parts removed.

The finished product. The total cost was less than $10 if you consider the amount of chicken wire we have left over. This is the view from the front, all closed up.

open-air-compost-3

We are going to possibly set up ties on the sides if we find that animals are getting in. So far, not too many are bothering it and it’s been fun not wasting the cuttings from vegetables. I hope to use the compost throughout the summer as it starts to break down.

Consider starting a compost in your kitchen in a small container if you’re not ready to do anything big. I hope to see savings from buying fertilizer and other garden growing components in the future. Organic matter like compost is heaven to plants, as it’s rich in nutrients and all of the goodies plants just love!