The Completely Free Compost Bin

January is never a fun month. Between crappy weather, post-holiday blues and the reminder that weight does not come off as easily as it goes on, I feel like January is one long trip to the dentist.

This week, however, the flowers began to peek through my brown lawn and my husband started the seeds for the garden, sure signs that Spring is on the way.

We’ve been planning several improvements to this year’s vegetable garden, including using only heirloom vegetables, a second round of planting in the fall and experimenting with vegetables we’ve never grown before. It’s an ambitious plan, and it’s going to require some work on to get it off the ground. We started by constructing this completely free compost bin:

Since we need to recycle more, cut costs and improve the less-than-ideal soil quality of our raised beds, I decided a compost bin was overdue. My husband was skeptical, but I vowed to come up with something that wouldn’t cost us a penny. By the power of Google, I formed a plan to construct a container out of discarded wooden pallets, so it could keep our compost pile contained (and therefore less likely to tick off our neighbors). We scouted around the dumpsters of local businesses for the pallets, and found four in very short order. We screwed them together using wood screws we already had on hand, after cutting one side in half to ensure we can reach in to turn the compost as needed. My husband also found some leftover screen that the previous owners left in our garage, and staple-gunned it around the inside to further secure the compost from escaping between the slats.

Not too shabby for twenty minutes and no dinero.

And that was just a gratuitous baby photo. Why? Because it’s Monday, that’s why.

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