Instructables

Simple Compost Enclosure (cheap, fast, n easy)

Picture of Simple Compost Enclosure (cheap, fast, n easy)
There are literally thousands of ways to make compost enclosures. Just search Instructables here, if you don't believe me. This one was made in about an hour, requires minimal tools, and is very, very cheap. It gets the job done without wasting time looking pretty.
 
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Step 1: A Wordy Introduction to Composting and Tools You'll Need For This Project

Picture of A Wordy Introduction to Composting and Tools You'll Need For This Project
Compost is basically rotting organic material that breaks down into primitive soil. When added to the sand, rocks, and clay that make up dirt, the mix becomes the ultimate in nature's nutrient delivery system to plants. Composting is taking place everywhere, all the time. Wherever organic material (leaves, grass clippings, dung, etc.) meets dirt, composting will begin to take place.

For now, let's concentrate on building a simple, cheap, and useful compost container. To properly break down, composting matter needs the following: moisture, air, and time.

A full-enclosed container such as a plastic barrel or garbage bin will not work for composting as it does not allow enough air into the mix. So you end up with the stinky rotting stuff instead of the real compost. Compost has a somewhat pungent, but very earthy, healthy smell to it. Rotting stuff just makes you gag.

Moisture will come from water and from the items you ad to the compost pile. Kitchen scraps, grass clippings, weeds from your garden, etc. are all things you can ad to your compost pile. Everything from egg shells to uneaten vegetables to drainage from your cooking can be thrown on the pile.

Time, of course, is what it is. For a good sized compost pile to properly break down into useful soil mixture, it needs at least half a year, but a full year is generally better.

To build a good composting container, as I've shown above, all you'll need are:
  • four fence posts--any kind, so long as they're at least four feet tall: wood, metal, whatever. They need to be sturdy and you should be able to somehow attach wire fence to them (screws, wire ties, staples, etc.).
  • chicken/poultry wire or the equivalent. This needs to be of small mesh, so the openings can't be more than an inch square. Chicken/poultry wire is cheap and easy to come by, even used.
  • organic matter like scrap wood, downed tree limbs, etc. of at least 13 diameter to use as a base for your heap.

You'll also need simple tools like a way to cut the wire (tin snips, wire cutters, pliers), a way to drive the fence posts into the ground (sledgehammer, heavy hammer, post pounder, or whatever), and a way to break up the base materials for the bottom of the heap.