Often I get asked about composing and how to do it, so this is my method. I learned from my Grandmother on my Mom’s side, who always kept a little compost pile for kitchen scraps, covered with some black plastic. My current bins are weird shapes due to the constrained steep hillside that I’ve put them on, so they don’t need to be this shape! I’ve settled on a 3 bin solution over the years:

  • Bin 1 & 2 are the same size, allowing for rotation of large amounts of compost. Or, when one gets full, you can start adding new green matter to the other one.
  • Bin 3 is smaller, for finished compost. You can put a 1/2″ screen on top and shovel almost-finished compost into it and filter out the really coarse items to create compost that’s ready-to-use. The lower profile of this bin really helps to just sit the screened box on top and work it with my hands easily.
Overall bin setup. The lids can keep excess rain out in the winter. The fronts are removable, with rear hooks that keep them in place. They also swing down in half as see in the current picture. The finished bin #3 is on the bottom right. Nothing needs to be this complicated!
After 6 months or more, I pulled off all of the large sticks on top, and this is what’s left: almost finished compost, ready to be sifted. There should be lots of worms in this.

The Finished compost bin gets used up pretty fast, so even with these sizes, I have never filled up this bin. I should be keeping this more damp than this!
The finished compost has lots of worm castings, but also egg shells, and a bunch more small sticks and organic matter.