Wasting food is worse than nails on a chalk board..almost. I shed a small piece of my heart each time I throw food into the garbage. I still have my entire heart because I refuse to waste, I will save even the smallest morsel of a meal to incorporate into the next. So what do I waste then? Scraps of food that I deem inedible: think watermelon rinds, lemon peels, garlic skin, wilted leafy produce. Rather than throw these away, why not compost them!
Compost bins these days can be expensive, and take up a lot of space. There are plenty of DIY projects all over the internet, from digging holes in the ground to getting an old garbage can and filling it with left over food. I know someone who recently made a compost bin out of milk crates. It’s worked out well for left over scraps!
DIY Compost Bin
You wont need much, just some milk crates (3 of them for a good rotation system), weed blocker, paper bags, and a hot glue gun.
These are the crates that were used. There are three, but I started with two to get the compost going. You won’t need the third one for a bit.
Oh surprise, I used a TJ’s bag. You’ll need a sturdy paper bag to lay on the bottom of the bin. Eventually this will compost into your soil, but it will take time and lets the food break down first.
You will take the weed block fabric of your choice, and hot glue it to the four side walls of the bin. Do not put a layer on the bottom, the bottom is only for the paper bag. You don’t want weeds growing into your compost, they taste like intruders.
Glue glue glue. This part is dangerous, I couldn’t risk burning my clumsy sausage fingers.
Voila, repeat these steps on the other two crates and you are almost ready to start spoiling food for fresh soil.
Add a little bit of soil to get the bin started.
The lid helps to keep the soil dark and moist, but you will need to let the bins have sun and water occasionally.
Admiration at its finest.
Now for the rotation process: To make this easier to understand we will call the crates A, B, and C (eventually you will need three crates.) The top crate is A, middle crate is B, and bottom crate is C. Once crate A is 3/4 full you will swap it out with crate B. Crate B then comes to the top. Once crate B is 3/4 full, you will take whatever is left in crate A (which should be partially broken down by now) and POUR that into crate C. You will then put crate A back on top, and crate B back into the middle. This will begin your cycle. Crate C is there basically to collect the leftover waste that needs more time breaking down.
This compost bin is strictly veg friendly. No meats or animal products will find their way into the bin. With meat you have to worry about other breakdown methods. If you want a meat friendly bin, this is the wrong blog for you.
Q: Do you waste a lot of food? Ever thought about saving scraps like this? Someday this will be soil to fuel my garden!