We've been composting for years. And by composting, I mean keeping food waste out of the garbage bin. But to say we were productively using our scraps for better good, nope. Not even close. In years past we haven't had the means or the need to really compost for "garden gold", as it's often referred to. Our efforts were halfhearted and more than anything, we just wanted to reduce our contribution to the landfill every week. Between composting, recycling, and purchasing as much package-less items as we can, we've achieved that goal. However, the nagging feeling like we could really do better with the compost still remained. So this year, as we work towards our first true garden, we're getting serious about the compost. Not to mention, we now want that garden gold. It will help nurture the garden plot that no one else had touched in nearly a decade.
"Babe, I have a project for us!" —That statement has become routine in our relationship. We both love projects, but finding one that is worthwhile can be a challenge. I came to him with the idea of making a compost tumbler. Pinterest had my expectations through the roof on this, and I knew he'd be game. I found a guy in Roanoke selling "rain barrels" for $10. $10?! What a bargain. My dear love picked two up (one for the compost, and another just because they were so cheap) and hauled them home. He arrived with wood, screws, and a mighty fine plan. His idea was to have the device roll on casters rather than operating on a crank system. It was brilliant. For less than $40 we had our very own super sweet compost tumbler and a lovely afternoon constructing it together.
Composting is different for us now. We're excited to collect our scraps, to compost things we wouldn't normally think of. We go out of our way to find goodies to add to it (Thanks, Starbucks, for the coffee grounds!), and we all go trucking out as a family to watch it spin our waste around. And last week, we had nothing to contribute to trash pickup.
DIY Compost Tumbler
- Two 2 x 4s
- Wood screws
- A rain barrel, or something similar.
- Two small hinges
- One small latch
- 4 casters
Make a frame the size of your barrel, with both longer pieces set at around 45°. Screw two casters onto each of those boards.
Cut a door into the barrel around 12" x 18", or whatever size you deem appropriate for your needs. Attach hinges to door and barrel. Do the same for the latch.
Place barrel onto casters and spin with delight.