Out of everything in my yard I have a very special relationship with my compost. What I like about the compost is that it makes life into a cycle. I can grow food, put the waste in the compost bin. It turns into good soil then I can return it to the yard to feed the next years plants.
My first compost bin was awesome! I made it by hand with 2x4's and chicken wire. I made it into a rectangular bin. I dug the four corner post and a post for the gate 18" into the yard. I leveled the thing, put up the chicken wire and threw whatever I could in it. It was huge too, it turned out to be 5'x8'. I would throw crap in it all year and empty it in the spring. By fall that thing was always overflowing. By the time we decided to move I had plans on making a second one the same size to rotate the compost.
I just made a compost for the new place. I had in mind what I wanted to do for a compost bin for a few months now. I went out in search of wood pallets in the G.A.P.O.S. van, dumpster dove to get them and brought them back to the yard. I wanted this compost to be somewhat temporary, so I was not going to make it permanent like my last one. I had four pallets and I went out and got eight-four foot poles. I put the poles in the ground and put the pallets over the poles, like the forks of a forklift. I am able to easily break it down if needed and it will hold all our crap.
There are some ethics to dumpster diving for wood pallets. (I did find ads on craigslist for free pallets, but I wasn't able to get them on a Sunday evening.) I trolled slowly behind businesses looking for pallets. Yes, that is an invitation to get questioned by the Cops. To the credit of the businesses on South Robert in West Saint Paul I didn't find what I was looking for. I came across junk pallets next to dumpsters in an industrial area in Saint Paul. If a pallet looked like it might not have been trash- I would have asked the business if I could have it, or not taken it at all. The ones I found were not wanted anymore. I piled them up in the van and proudly took them home.
Now that I have a cheap compost bin I can start to throw crap in it. 'What can go into a compost bin?' You ask...Well here is what I compost: leaves, grass clippings, straw, weeds, egg shells, unused or bad fresh food, kitchen scraps, hair, old plants, coffee grounds, and vacuum bag crap. Basically I have a lot of yard waste and kitchen scraps I put in mine.
Composting is a key part of gardening and part of the cycle of life. As much fun as it is for me to watch a small seed grow into a fourteen foot flower with a wood-like stalk, it's just as enjoyable to watch my yard and kitchen waste turn into food for my yard.