New/Old Compost Bins

Jonathan spent most of the warmer months on the great fence replacement project. Because we have both a dog and a fence bordering three different neighbors, he’s been working in sections. As he moves onto the next section, the pile of old fence pickets grows.

After a visit to my cousin’s house outside Portland and an extensive review of his composting system, Jonathan decided that would be the perfect use for all that old lumber. He designed it in SketchUp and as soon as he had enough boards, he went to work.


The first step was replacing the small section of fence behind where the compost bin would eventually end up. We figured it was better to do that now then try and move the bin later on. Next step was pulling up the sod (weeds, mainly) and some of the topsoil from the back corner of the property.


Although most of the sod was removed, a weed barrier was added for good measure. As you can see, Jonathan ran into a tree root he was not expecting.


Next, he cornered a friend with a truck to help him pick up a load of gravel. Of course, that also meant helping spread the gravel.


One slight hitch—the new compost bin had been sitting alongside the project area while the new fence was being constructed and we had been using it pretty regularly. That mean it was half full and very heavy.


Wheeled dollies were the solution as the three of us rolled the entire thing into the corner.

It’s been working well so far. Jonathan designed it so the slates on the front could be removed for easy access and the three-bin solution will give us a rolling supply of compost for the garden. After the winter is over, I’m looking forward to the results!

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