I think composting is one of the easiest (and most fun) green/gardening practices there is. For beginners, I usually recommend that they start off with a homemade bin like this one. It’s super cheap, and I’ll bet that you quickly get sucked into the process.

We have two bins now in our backyard – a tall, stacked version that my parents bought me a few years ago for my birthday, and a tumbler version that we recently added to our collection. If we had the space, we would have built something from scrap wood similar to this, but we just didn’t have the space in our yard for something like that to work. At the Grace Garden, we use this idea for composting, which could be easily and cheaply modified for an at-home version (at our house, our dog would have destroyed those!).

We started composting about four years ago. At first, my husband took some convincing, but he quickly took charge of the compost at our house. We keep a bowl by our sink for compost scraps, so he takes out the compost every day, turns the compost, makes sure it’s wet/dry enough, etc. You can imagine my delight when he came home from a trip to Menard’s several weeks ago with a couple totes that he informed me he was going to use to start vermicomposting. I realize that it’s another sign of my craziness that instead of being grossed out, I jumped up and kissed him.

Grant drilled small holes throughout the sides and top of one of the totes. He used the second tote as the base, to catch the magic worm tea. We ordered some worms online, but, in hindsight, we should have called Keith, “our worm guy,” from Castaway Compost to get some fresh and happy worms from his collection. Then Grant tore up some cardboard, shredded some paper, and soaked the cardboard and shredded paper in a sink full of water for a bit for the worm’s bedding. Per these directions, we also put some “green” compost in the bin on top of the bedding. Since we produce so much more green compost than the worms can eat, we use the other two compost bins for the majority of our kitchen scraps. Here’s a helpful list of what the worms like and don’t like to bookmark. Minus the trip to the store for the totes, the whole project took him about 15 minutes!

If you’ve never composted before, I encourage you to start with the link mentioned in the first paragraph, but, if you’re an experienced composter and looking for a new challenge, we’re having so much fun so far with our vermicomposting adventure! Our son and Grant go out every night to check on “the wormies.”

Now I have my eyes on one of these, but I think it would take decades for Grant to get on board with that!

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