DIY Compost Bin (Tennessee Edition)

I moved to Tennessee this week. Despite our Skype calls, Koz, Official Adventure Cat, completely forgot that I exist. Seeing as I’m now the one feeding him, I think he’ll remember who I am pretty quickly. Or at least I hope so. Otherwise I’ll probably just curl up in one of my moving boxes and weep.


In Kansas, I made a compost bin. I used a big tub and put a rotting board weighed down with bricks across it. It worked rather nicely, so I decided to try for Compost Bin: Tennessee Edition. I felt like getting a little more serious this time around and so I used an old kitty litter tub. As this was a serious project, a serious dress code was in order, and I donned my overalls.

(You can probably just toss all your food scraps in a big pile, add leaves and stir, but I think it’s more fun to make things.)

Project Materials
*Plastic tub of some kind with a lid (Note: Darker colored tubs will keep heat in more effectively, which you want! I guess my recommendation is not to use a bright yellow tub like I did.)
*Drill and drill bits

Instructions With Words
1. Don your overalls!
2. Drill holes all over the bottom of the tub and on the sides an inch or two up from the bottom. I used a variety of large, medium, and small drill bits. Just for the heck of it. You want holes for aeration and drainage purposes.
3. Drill a few small holes on the top. I just did 10 or so along the lid’s edge. I think you’re supposed to have holes in the top for aeration purposes, but I also think it’s a nice way to let a little water in. You need a little bit of moisture to make the whole compost thing work.
4. Find a nice sunny spot in your yard and dig a 2″ deep hole that is the width of your compost bin. Bonus points if you dig it in the winter with a hammer claw and a large rock. I have since acquired a shovel since Compost Bin: Kansas Edition, and so I used it.
5. Place the compost bin in the hole and bury it a few inches up.
6. Fill the bin mostly with brown material (dried leaves, etc.) and add your green material (veggie scraps). Secure lid.
7. Add your food scraps, stir regularly, add brown material as needed! Your compost bin should have a rich, earthy smell. If it smells like food, there might be too much food or moisture. Just add some more brown material.

Instructions With Photos

Find a tub with a lid. You can find a kitten too, but this part is optional.


Find your tools amidst your piles of not-yet-unpacked boxes. Use lots of strength to rip a million yards of packing tape off the box. I also discovered a iPod USB cord thingy that doesn’t belong to me. Dear Nate: I will return this one day. Sincerely, Kat


Be responsible and lay some newspaper down to cover the floor. Drill one million holes in the tub.


Dig a hole in a sunny spot.

20140423_Compost_Bin_05Bury your compost bin, fill it with scraps and leaves, secure lid and wait.


Through My Headphones
*Ho Hey (The Lumineers Cover) -Lennon and Maisy


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