Step 1: What you DON"T need
So, I'm going against the flow, not letting the man keep my head down, fighting the power, etc...
And thus, in direct contradiction to the name of this step, here is what you will need:
1) A 10 gallon plastic bucket, like the kind 3" chlorine tablets are sold in.
(If you are going to use this bucket, wash it out first. Chlorine kills living things - look it up)
2) Some starter soil. Just grab a shovel, and dig some up. Any kind will do.
3) A shovel, or some other scooping/scraping/turning device. Actually, use a shovel, because I managed to wound myself with my rusty rebar and had to get a tetanus shot. It hurt. A lot. Trust me.
4) Water. The essence of life.
5) Compost material. Leafy yard clippings, plant-based kitchen scraps, paper, eggshells, whatever.
6) Patience, patience, patience. And for those of us with problems waiting, a computer/book/family pet for your amusement,