A while ago (in 2010 actually!) I posted about my compost box, raving on about how much I love composting and how I enjoy producing ‘black gold’ that feeds my garden from the waste that many people throw away or pay to have taken away.
I still feel that way; in fact I just don’t understand why people will pay to get rid of their garden waste then turn around and buy compost to spread in their garden! If you are physically unable to perform the admittedly strenuous work of producing compost I can forgive you, but otherwise…
Now that I have chickens my compost is more like black dynamite! I filter all of my kitchen scraps through the hens, which means I put even less in the garbage than I used to because they can eat breads, fats and other food scraps that previously I wouldn’t put into the compost for fear of attracting rats and other vermin. After it’s passed through the chickens I shovel the resulting stinky mess into the compost box where it acts as a volatile compost activator breaking down my garden waste in record time.
The one problem with my compost was, well, climate-related. In a word – RAIN! We get a lot of it; so much rain that for most of the year my compost is a sodden lump of muck, impossible to work with. Sure, you need a certain amount of moisture when composting, but we get a lot more than that, and when I want to sift some to spread on the garden it’s often too wet to work with.
I’ve known the answer to this problem for a while, in fact since my husband built the compost box, but sometimes in the name of marital harmony one just has to be patient…
I had decided that I wanted a roof rather than a lid so that I don’t have to struggle with lifting a lid every time I put stuff in or take stuff out. I also wanted a roof that didn’t prevent all moisture from getting into the compost or impede airflow to the pile. My highly technical instructions went something like this; “I want the front of the roof about this tall (pointing with big stick) in the front and coming down to about here (with hands) in the back”.
One Saturday while I was working at the garden centre he tackled the job and by the time I got home it was pretty much done except for the shingling, which was finished up shortly after. I painted it because I rather enjoy painting and it’s the only construction related chore I can be trusted with. Isn’t it lovely?