DIY Compost Bin

I didn’t intend for this to correlate with Earth Day, but it seems like a pretty good fit to show my new compost bin today to celebrate doing better for our planet.

Since moving to the country, having a bigger garden and not having a garbage disposal, I’ve been researching how to make my own DIY compost bin.  I even looked at buying a spinning compost contraption or making my own. But Dad has an abundance of plastic Purina feed tubs that are leftover after the cattle eat the mineral out, so I thought I would recycle one (I will be using them in my garden too, so look for a post on the garden soon!).

I started by drilling holes in the bottom and sides of the tub to allow for drainage and air circulation. I used half of an old barrel for the lid as it slides down great on top of the tub and is heavy enough to keep critters out. I also put a few holes in the lid to allow for circulation and a little moisture to get in (if we ever get any rain). Then I set it on a couple of cinder blocks and it’s all ready to go.

It’s not the prettiest thing, but it is behind the shed in good sunlight so it will stay warm and out of site.


It’s close to the garden so when the compost is done brewing and I put it right on. Or throw it out in the pasture to help the grass grow from where we are taking yuccas out.

What did I start my compost pile with? I tore up old newspapers and got them wet, but not soaking. Then a layer of about three inches of soil, that I also got wet. Chisum really liked helping with the water part!

Then I threw in what I’ve been saving to throw in. Pine needles, food scraps, vacuum canister dust/lint/dirt and got them slightly wet. I found a good list on other random things I can put in the compost bin as well – including my sewing scraps, cotton balls, used paper towels and others.

While I’m new to this compost thing, I want to put in a plug for farmers and ranchers who are the true soil conservationists and compost-ers.  Every year, they are either tilling their soil or using no-till conservation to make sure to keep soil healthy, as well as using fertilizer to make sure there are enough nutrients for the crops to grow. Many of the fertilizers are even “natural” like animal or human waste.

Speaking of waste, I’m smelling my toddler run by with a dirty diaper so I better go change him. I wonder if I can compost that?! 😉 Happy Earth Day!

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