Pallet Project

Much to my chagrin, not all crafty, frugal projects involve fabric, yarn, thread, beads, glue, glitter, or bling of any type.  Sometimes, they fall into the realm of my hubby.  They involve (gulp!) woodworking skills.

Woodworking (except at its most basic) is outside of my realm of expertise.  I am more of a fabric and bling kind of gal.  That’s how my head works and what I am better at.  Thank goodness I married well!

Another Hatchett Job, frugal living, gardening

Original compost pile.

This is Exhibit A, our one bin compost pile.  It was crafted with scrounged pallets and wire as a part of younger son’s Family Life Merit Badge for Boy Scouts.  It originally had no door, but we pressed a couple of bungees and a section of a baby play yard into service to keep our dogs out of it (after they raided it on more than one occasion for an impromptu snack and for dragging all over the yard).  We have continually filled it with bags of horse manure, home veggie trimmings, leaves, grass clippings, tea bags, coffee grounds, etc.  The volume shrinks as everything breaks down, so even if we could fill it to the very top (not likely as things could fall over top of the “door”), it wouldn’t stay that way for long.  I am sure there is some fabulous compost on the bottom of that pile, but getting to it would be a pain.  In general, compost matures faster when it is turned occasionally.  Our doesn’t get turned because, well, there is nowhere to “turn” it to, and the prospect of turning it out of the enclosure only to scoop it all back in the enclosure (which would indeed mix it well) doesn’t sound like fun to me or the boys.  So, it has sat, working away admirably, though possibly not at peak efficiency.

With the prospect of garden season beginning really soon at our location (peas can be planted out Another Hatchett Job, frugal living, gardeningFebruary 1st), it was becoming obvious that we needed some serious help in the the compost dept.  This method is great, but it doesn’t allow for having mature compost screened and sat aside for immediate use and younger compost separate.  We needed a larger system.

We are awaiting another appropriately sized pallet to make the door on the original bin.

Enter, Exhibit B, the (almost complete) no cost, 3 bin compost pile.  The pallets were free, the wire was left over from another project and just taking up space.  I think the wood doors are a great improvement over the plastic make-do idea.

Understand that we live in the country and you might not.  We have access to pallets from time to time and you might not.  This look (once we can remove the plastic “door”) will blend right into our woodsy back yard and garden space.  But, the reason that I share this, knowing that it is not a perfect solution for all situations, is a reminder to use what you have on hand or what you can cheaply get your hands on.  And, if necessary, work on a project in stages as time and materials become available.  It took a bit of time before we realized how much we needed a larger compost system.

Best of all, the boys got outside with us on a warm day and helped haul pallets, hold them in place, and rake leaves to half way fill the second bin (it didn’t even take an hour).  Time together is always a bonus (even if the kids do whine and complain some) and the free garden fertilizer that we are producing is always a plus!

Do you compost?  Did you make your  own composter?

Till next time,

Another Hatchett Job

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One Response to Pallet Project

  1. Kristine says:

    when too many toss it out, it is so lovely to see you ‘makinDo’, and with such a generous disposition.

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