Wednesday, September 14, 2011


We started composting a year or so ago, but it wasn't until this summer that we got serious about it!  Our first decision was to decide what sort of receptacle we wanted to use.  After reading an article in Martha Stewart Living I decided on a three bin design from the Iowa State University Extension.  This design is a bit of overkill for us but hopefully we can grow into it!

Bryce (with Ron's help) built the bins over the course of several weeks.  It's a simple but efficient design.  The slats in the front are removable so that it is easier to get to the compost and it allows you to have several brews at several different stages (we are clearly not to that point!).

I've been surprised at how much I love to check up on how the compost is doing!  It's oddly exciting to check on the progress.  I'm still learning what makes a great compost (I'm concerned mine is not hot enough) but we are off to an exciting start!   The whole family has shown fantastic interest in the composting and the children now automatically compost banana peels, carrot shavings and the like.

I found a fantastic book for children on composting.  We learned so much from Compost Stew by Mary McKenna Siddals, I had no idea one could compost dryer lint!  The illustrations are very fun to look at and it definitely gets the children excited about composting.  I would highly recommend it to future composters or current composters*.

We use this compost bin from Crate and Barrel.  It's the perfect size to fit under our kitchen sink.  It's big enough to fit a fair amount of material in but small enough that the children can easily carry it to the compost pile.  We've never had a problem with smell.

*I'm not sure that composters is a word.  But I like it.


  1. Thank you for such an enthusiastic mention of Compost Stew! Perhaps you and your children might also enjoy exploring some of the book's activities found on my website. Meanwhile, keep up the good work refining your compost recipe and spreading a little green in the world, one apple core at a time...

    Mary McKenna Siddals, author of Compost Stew

  2. I love it! I need to get Mike to build me one.

  3. Only YOU and your kiddos could make composting look so fun!!!!

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  6. Kudos to your composting, inspiring to readers.

  7. I miss having a compost bin. When my boys were young, we raised nightcrawlers (for fishing) in the bin. We've since moved and I'm afraid the bin would now be a bear attractant. Great post and way to go to get the kiddos involved!

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