Compost Bin and Smoker

I like my two Earth Machine composters in that they’re contained and so inaccessible to animals, which makes me unafraid to throw in meat, cheese, bones, etc. They’re also, of course, portable, and not too bad to look at. But for those reasons they’re also a pain to turn, and just the two of them won’t give me the quantity of compost I need. I want to add horse manure, grass clippings, more coffee shop coffee grounds and perhaps even some kitchen scraps from neighbors.

So I am in need of something more extensive and easier to turn. Something like theĀ  one at Drumlin Farm. DH helped me make it come true. He made his own design and we put it together, the two of us, over the last couple of days. Here is the almost finished product in situ, off to the side of the veg garden:

It really is huge: 3 boxes 3′ by 3′ by 3′.

It still needs a three-part lid, which we’ll make out of scrap lumber and the old fiberglass roof we ripped off our porch. Time and use will tell if we did well. If it holds up well, I’ll put our plans online.

I’ll still be using my Earth Machines for the kitchen scraps that the wild animals would love to get at, because even with a lid this one is not tight – for one, it has no bottom. So the Earth Machines stay behind the shed, close to the kitchen, and this one will receive their composted and half-composted contents once in a while.


I also lit my bee smoker for the first time. I gathered a bucket full of dry pine needles, dry rotten wood and old leaves from our garden, stuffed some of that into the smoker, and lit it on fire. It smoked really well for 20 minutes with only a few puffs. Success!

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1 Comment

  1. Your compost bins look great! I will be interested in how well you like working with them. It seems to me that making compost is work, no matter what kind of bin or system one uses. I’m making note of the materials you’re using for that smoker too!

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