the compost bins, take one

This morning, eldest son and I headed over to Toytec & something-or-other for some free pallets with which to create my compost bins. This is my goal end result, and I’m making two since I’m doing the “impatient” form of composting:

click this photo for the instructions online

What is the impatient form of composting? It’s a three-bin system of composting. You basically toss your compost pile from the first bin to the second bin, and back again, and so on and so forth every two weeks. You need to keep the pile damp (not wet), and this bi-monthly movement really speeds up the process of decomposition. Then, when it’s black and very dirt-y, you put it in the third bin because it’s ready for use. You can get a sieve of sorts for when you think your compost is ready to be in your garden, and then you catch all the big chunks that still need to be worked out and made smaller.

My plan is to make two compost bins like so, but assembled. My “done” soil will have its place in my garden or in a special corner of one section of my garden just to the right of where the bins will be stored.

When I brought these beauties home, my husband asked me what I was going to do about the large, gaping holes. I was ignoring those holes and planned to deal with them later. Like when all my compost was falling out and vermin were getting in to eat the scraps. He told me I need to watch myself so that I’m not a step ahead of where I should be. Wise words. I know there are at least a handful of sayings about take your time now, it’ll all be jolly later, blah blah…..and now you see why I’m doing the impatient composting technique.

Husband told me this around 5:30 PM, after nightfall. Those gorgeous mountains to the west really put a damper on our daylight. So, in the dark, we discovered that each pallet was two-sided, and that by taking off a section of boards, we could nail them in between the slats to prevent spillage, but to still let in and out the oxygen. We don’t want any exploding compost bins.

pallet with the front mostly bashed off. yes, husband was wearing a shirt & tie.




these are the slats we are taking off to use to fill the gaps


Husband took the sledge hammer and regular old hammer to the pallets while eldest son danced around them and got yelled at because there were rusty nails all over. He battled the wood, rusty nails, and dark just for me…after my tantrum, of course.

It went something like this (embellishments courtesy of my memoragination)*:

Me: Why don’t I know more about tools and using them?
Husband: Because you haven’t used them often enough.
Me: Well, you should stop helping me with this project.
Husband: Why?
Me: Because you don’t care anything about composting.
Husband: But I care about you, so I want to help. But don’t expect me to touch any rotten foods. Gross. (as he shudders)

*I’m 99% sure the words in bold are exactly accurate.

I took my son inside to whip up some chili and potato rolls (from the freezer). We also tried our hand at spinach cake muffins, which are very moist and delicious thanks to’s recipe (


One thought on “the compost bins, take one

  1. you could fill any remaining gaps with chicken wire too. my grandpa used to have a “two-bin composter”. it was very impressive and all the neighborhood kids would come to see “that old guy shovel rotten dirt” back and forth between bins on Thursday afternoons.

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