Saturday, December 10, 2011


Last weekend I built a new compost bin, the two compost bins we currently use were full. Every school day Megs brings home 1-3 five gallon buckets of compost from the school. It takes us about 2-3 weeks to generate five gallons of compost in our house hold.

FYI Meg's school composts everything. The school tried having a big 12 ft long multi stage compost bin, but the rats got in the compost way too often. Guess having 250 or so children who most do not eat all of that apple or orange they bring for lunch can make quite the meal for city rats.

Thought I'd list some advantages of composting.

1 You get great soil enhancement and it also fertilizes your gardens.

2 The worms are very happy to eat everything you bring them and they make the best compost.

3 Kids can learn a lot from composting and grow things in it too.

4 Save landfill space.

5 You garbage does not stink as much. Rotting food really stinks.

6 Our bees visit and produce nectar from the fruit and eventually we get honey. Yellow Jackets can be troublesome in mid summer though.

Here is the new compost bin. Everything except the nails and staples were recycled. The frame and siding covers(in back) were from a shed I replaced, and the 10 year old 5/4 x 6 decking boards were from a deck I took down. I grabbed the chicken wire from the free shed at the land fill. We cover it at night to keep the possums out. To get the finished compost you just take a shovel and lift out the decking boards out in the front.

Thought I'd show you inside cold frame #2. It was 27 degrees this morning I think the coldest here this season. I had just watered everything and took these photos today.

 Here we have mixed lettuce on the left and Lacinato kale on the right. The lettuce we eat it daily, there's lots of it.
Swiss chard, wow!
Here starting from the left arugula, spinach and gourmet lettuce.

Watched the bees at noon, it was barely warm enough for them. I did see one bee returning with large orange pollen packets. And I observed an undertaker bee removing a dead bee and flying 6 foot away with it, the farthest I have seen a bee carry a dead bee.


greggo said...

nice handiwork. Loved the cold frames. did you make any blog posts on their construction?

Janet, The Queen of Seaford said...

I have been thinking of putting up a frame for leaves....have two compost tumblers that take care of our scraps. Well, the tumblers and my worms in the back hallway. I like the looks of your compost bin.
Those cold frames are really great!! You and Meg will be enjoying fresh greens all winter.
Interesting about the undertaker bee. I didn't know they did that.

Bonnie K said...

Ok, now you have made me feel guilty. I did not have time to wrap my roses, thus I did not empty my composter, and therefor I didn't move the composter to the deck so I could compost this winter. Now you've made me feel bad and I'll figure something out tomorrow. Grudgingly, I appreciate the kick to get moving.

Shady Gardener said...

Way to go!! I wish more schools would get into composting. (I'd love their surplus!) :-)

I turned my compost pile(s) 2 weeks ago. Now that freezing temps have arrived, it'll wait until the Spring thaw before things begin to work again. However, Mr. Shady's tumbler might work pretty well during the Winter months. We tried it last year. It was okay, but maybe I'll try to turn it more often this Winter!!

Carol said...

You are an inspiration Randy! I am drooling over your greens. Yummy! Can you ship those bins??

Jezibels said...

I made a large cold frame last year and have yet to use it, reading this makes me want to clear out its weeds and get it going...just that its on the far edge of the garden and I got to bundle up to do it! spring seems so far away to us Chicagoans!

Andrea said...

It is really good to have a man in the house to make anything that needs sawing and hammering! We don't have any in ours, LOL. But in this climate, those wood bins will decompose so quick also, such that composters here make cemented walls. Just like what Carol said you are an inspiration, but i laughed a bit when you even observed a bee bringing it to bee cemetery.

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

I love your greens, they look great despite some chilly weather. That's about how cold we've been in the mornings, 27-28F. Your compost bin looks great! I'm hoping to get a new compost system put together in the spring. I'd like to design something we can get the tractor into, but keeping it covered is critical to keep our marauding woodland creatures out of it, and if it's too big, it might be tricky to cover. I'm going to have to think about that a little over winter.

sweetbay said...

The greens in your coldframe look beautiful!

. . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

Your green are gorgeous.

5 - 15 gallons of food waste a day! Holy moley, I'm impressed (and just a teeny bit jealous.)

spurge said...

What an abundant sea of green inside your cold frame! Is there a particular variety of lettuce you've found that does well in winter?