Monday, September 27, 2010

Houston: We Have Compost

I don't know about where you live, but in my neck of the woods cast-off wooden palettes are outside every kind of building shop, and businesses are always trying to get rid of them. They seem to reproduce rapidly in this climate too, so it takes about 5 seconds to accumulate a couple dozen of them should you have a yard project that needs doing (and needs palettes).

This being the Crunchy West Coast, where everyone has a compost bin and a spirulina smoothie with bee pollen and wheat grass, these palettes have evolved into the most popular material with which to make compost bins.

I've been wanting to build a new compost bin system for about, oh, maybe 5 years. But since we've always been renters, I've had to make do with those black plastic tub-like barrels everyone seems to have in their back yard. So yes, I did have two serviceable compost bins, but really, they aren't the best of designs, particularly when one has vigorous compost putter outers (CPOs) in the family. Mine have looked rather shell-shocked of late. So I started accumulating palettes. Much to Richard's unease. "More junk!" I think might have been his exact quote. "Oh, ye of little faith!" was my retort (which I realize doesn't really mean anything but at the time I couldn't think of a wittier reply).


Free + Palette + Labour = A Good Thing.

Here we have the most popular style in compost bins. Also known as the Three Bin System, this trendy little number has a bin for each step on your compost's journey: 1) Beginner, 2) Intermediate, and 3) Fully composted. May or may not come with garden fork.

This one just appeared in my yard over the weekend. Magically. Really. One minute it wasn't there and the next minute - hey presto - it was. And look, there are already some compostable items inside! *

* item in question may or may not have had a little help from a handy guy named Richard, who would rather have been cleaning out the pigsty also known as the basement, so he could install some shelving he received many months ago, but we won't get into that because that isn't very productive, now, is it?

Now that the compost is in one place of the yard, instead of in several black plastic bins which migrate around the yard (and are usually in the most inconvenient places come winter when my CPOs are least interested in slogging around the yard with a heavy pail of vegetable trimmings).
Which leaves this part of the yard devoid of activity. Not being one to leave handy areas like these empty, I'm thinking chickens might look good here. Chickens or a really large greenhouse? Chickens AND a really large greenhouse?

Hey, was that Richard I just saw running down the street? Wait! Richard! Can't you help me build that chicken coop first?



Samantha said...

Hee hee!! I imagine Richard to have the same look on his face that my husband gets every time I get inspired to change something (which happens a lot!)

Your compost bins are lovely. We have the space saving two bin system, which isn't quite as fabulous but still produces some gorgeous dirt (that I used to fill my latest inspiration - the strawberry patch!)

Michelle said...

What about goats? Or a little pond with some ducks? And frogs! And fish! Oh, the possibilities!

sheila said...

Michelle, I suggested goats to my husband and he suggested that we get, instead, a tiger.

Dave said...

Like the three step method

Suji said...

...he suggested that we get, instead, a tiger...

I wonder what Toffee will think of that? :)

Michelle said...

Wow, a tiger; I hadn't thought of that! That's even better!