Monday, May 12, 2008

New compost barrel

Our compost situation was, well, squirming. Seething might be a better word. Wriggling works.

I have a very high threshold for such things, and even I quaked, when it came to be MY TURN to take the accumulated scraps to... the swarm. Caught some nice bluegill, though, using the soldier fly maggots as bait.

So for Mothers Day (in addition to buying a new super-efficient fridge to replace our 1995 model), I built my wife (and myself, of course)... a drum composter!

Fifteen bucks for the barrel. Twelve for the hardware and 4x4x8's. I used a salvaged steel rod from our old awning (very very strong), and the top from an old trashcan. Four conduit brackets hold the barrel onto the posts.

I still need to add a doorknob to make turning easier, and rig up some way of keeping the door closed when turning. Oh, and i need to finish painting it and clean it up some. But otherwise, I'm pretty satisfied.

It's at exactly the right height to empty into my wheelbarrow, and I have the option to add a second barrel, above the existing one, if we decide we need it. We could start compost in the top, transfer to the bottom when that load is finished.

The hardest things were cutting the plastic neatly (it's seriously stiff plastic -- I broke a jigsaw blade and wore out two power drill batteries cutting the holes) and digging the four foot holes for the posts (dry dry dry sand and no posthole digger). Otherwise, an afternoon project. It turns the compost beautifully, and drains well, which should help the soldier fly maggot problem. Too hot and dry for them to flourish.


Emily said...

I like the new composter. I wish mine turned like that. It would make it so much easier.

I got 99 problems web 2.0 ain't one said...

I love the new composter.

Anonymous said...

I have a double I build a few weeks ago and found you searching for the solider fly maggots, how does your door work? I cut a peice of the barrel out and used hinges and a gate latch but I loose a little dirt through the gaps when I turn it.

can you help?

Anonymous said...

I was also put-off by the black soldier fly larvae at first but after doing some research I realized how wonderful they are.