Random Happenings

Random notes and pics about events in the life of a not-your-typical Computer Science grad student. (Yes I am a nerd, but I don't live and breathe the SciFi channel, well maybe Stargate SG-1...)

Friday, December 01, 2006

Trash to treasure

I've been inspired by a few of my friends and the vast number of leaves falling from the trees to build a compost bin. I'm not the greatest gardener, but I think this is something I can manage not to kill, only because it is already dead! I kind of think of it as a little chemistry experiment. Input leaves, sticks, weeds, and kitchen veggie scraps and get "brown gold" as output. My very own organic compost.

So, after reading way too much about composting online (I tend to do that --- Google knows everything, you know), Nathan and I headed out to Lowes to get materials. Being a nerdy engineer, I had to make a design diagram first:
One thing to notice is that the design is for a 3ft x 3ft x 3ft compost bin --- definitely a manageable (and recommended) size. When we got home, I made the genius observation that if we just bump it up to 4ft a side, then we would have zero wood waste. (The wood came in 8ft lengths.) Otherwise, we would gave a bunch of 1ft useless scraps left over. It shouldn't be that much bigger than planned, we justified... Neither one of us thought to use our almost Math minors from undergraduate days to realize that adding 1ft per side more than doubles the volume. That's a lot of compost! I guess we need a little basic math refresher... We didn't really appreciate the impact of our "no-waste" decision until we built the whole frame.

Here is the final finished product, painted to match the gazebo already in our backyard. Pretty professional looking, I think. Maybe we should go into business building compost bins... (just kidding!) We picked an out of the way spot in the corner. (Plus it is furthest from the house in case it smells at all, which it shouldn't if I do things right.) This picture was taken a week or so ago. It is already filled about 1/3 of the way up with leaves and scraps, and there are plenty of more leaves just waiting to be added to the pile this weekend. Fun, fun...


Post a Comment

<< Home