One of my first garden projects when I moved here was to start a compost pile in the backyard. My neighbors were impressed that I made my own *dirt*.

My first compost container was 5′ fencing formed into a circle 3′ in diameter held together with wire and wrapped in heavy duty plastic. It was sunken into the ground for stability, attached to a stake for added stability with poultry netting on the bottom and a garbage can lid on top kept out rodents.

This worked until the garden space was needed for a tree. The second compost container is simply a 30 gal. plastic garbage can placed on cinderblocks (to help with drainage) tucked out of the way (but where it gets good sun). Holes drilled with a paddle bit on the bottom and sides for drainage and air (microbes that contribute to composting need oxygen to be effective). The lid kept out critters.

That’s it. Add food scraps (no meat), leaves, dead (but not diseased) plants, grass, cuttings. A shovelful of good garden soil will introduce microbes and earthworms that will help get things going. Water the compost if it gets too dry, poke holes with a long stick to let in air if it gets too wet.

Every few months I dump everything onto a tarp, put the finished compost on my garden and put the rest back in the container.

Making compost = easy as pie! More on making compost here and here.