You may remember that we came up with a temporary composting system in the mudroom when we arrived at the farm. The outside compost pile (made almost entirely of horse manure and wood chips) was both frozen and very far from the kitchen (and also not an ideal size for incorporating kitchen scraps).
We’ve been very busy the last few months, and temporary turned into semi-permanent. “We” would empty the compost tubs into the far-off pile when they were “full.” This weekend the mudroom smelled strongly of rotting vegetables.
So we built a compost bin a short distance from the house! The sides are made of hay, which will insulate the pile and help keep it warm but still let oxygen in. Really you should use straw for this (don’t want grass seeds in your compost), but we have a lot of old hay bales out by the barn and zero old straw bales. Unlike the massive manure compost pile, this one is about 4 feet by 4 feet – big enough for the compost microbes to really take off but not so huge that turning it would be impossible. We placed it under a deciduous tree so the sun won’t dry it out in the summer but it will still get warmed up early in the spring.