This week, potentially this weekend, I'm going to start building the compost "bin" at the Farmette (depending on whether or not Mike and Betsy will let me start!) My idea is to build straw bale compost bins. These require quite a bit of space, of which there is plenty at the Farmette. I like this idea because according to this neat book I'm reading, "Four-Season Harvest," by Eliot Coleman, straw is an important component to any compost bin and the straw bales actually serve as part of the composting process.
I'll start by clearing, flattening, digging, and weeding the space allotted for the compost bin. Then I'll build straw bale block walls for a bin in a brickwork mosaic. I'm considering building two "bins" right off the bat, but I'm going to see how much straw bales cost first.
Then, over the course of the next six months to a year, I'll layer in various types of material--regular dirt, green matter (food waste from the community), brown matter (yard waste, grass clippings, etc), and various other things (perhaps sawdust, maybe some horse poop, and I may even try some compostable cups and plates and such). I'll slowly fill the bin with these things, mixing and watering when needed. Eventually, the straw bales will break down, and I'll cut and remove the bailing twine and then mix the composted bales in with the compost.
At this point, there are a few different things that can be done with the compost. It can be spread on the garden as heavily composted mulch, or it can be left for another few months to compost some more. I also may be able to use the straw bales for another round.
I plan on taking photos of this whole process. What a fun adventure this will be!
1 year ago