Illustrations by Reed DeWinter
Find plans to build your own compost bin online. This three compartment version has removable wood slats on each chamber that keep your bin looking tidy. Slide the slates out when it’s time to turn or remove your compost.
If you build your own, buy lumber that is resistant to rot but not treated with chemicals – cedar is a good option. Find wire mesh fencing at most hardware or feed supply stores and use galvanized metal to keep from rusting.
- Fruits and vegetables — peels, stems, rinds (avoid seeds to prevent sprouts in your garden)
- Coffee grounds and filters
- Tea leaves/bags
- Nut shells
- Shredded newspaper
- Yard trimmings
- Grass clippings (Herbicide & Pesticide free)
- Hay and straw
- Sawdust (from untreated wood)
- Wood chips
- Cotton and wool rags
- Dryer and vacuum cleaner lint
- Hair and fur
- Fireplace ashes
Ever since his grandfather put him to work squashing potato bugs and shoveling compost in a vast organic garden north of Philadelphia, Cedric has loved the outdoors. These days, he squashes bugs for his green-thumbed partner, Jen. His writing has appeared in Saveur, Cincinnati, This Old House, and Belt magazines. He is the Collector at the Mercantile Library Downtown.