I never expected to be a compost junky but I’ve become one. No banana peel or pear core or basket of coffee grounds goes uncomposted.
Now, as the household composting habits have grown, we’ve outgrown our nice stainless steel compost container. As a matter of fact, it actually split under the strains of our composting demands and, being so small, it required daily trips to the compost bin – not so convenient this winter with the thigh-high snowdrifts.
So I was thrilled to hear from a friend of mine about a make-your-own compost container large enough to hold up to at least five day’s worth of compost without smelling up the kitchen or encouraging the development of a swarm of fruit flies. All it requires is a trip to the hardware store for a 2-gallon plastic paint bucket with lid and one of those general purpose green scrubbing pads.
First, drill holes into the lid (I used a 3/8” drill bit). Then, cut the scrubbing pad to fit so that it covers all the holes in the lid. The scrubbing pad allows for oxygen to get into the bucket (so that a chamber of smelly anaerobic gases won’t develop) but prohibits fruit flies from entering. Last, glue the pad to cover the holes (a rubber-based sealant works well) and you’ve got yourself one hefty compost bucket that holds plenty of kitchen scraps and cleans quickly and easily too.
The benefits of composting are many, including the nutrients it brings to the plants in your garden and the reduction of contributions to the waste stream. And it’s also fun to have the unexpected baby wildlife occasionally winding up in the compost bin. You don’t even have to aerate (turn over) the pile yourself with their little paws and snouts doing the job for you.
text and photos by Ann D. Travers