My cousin has sent photos of 200 seedlings that have leaped out for her in Texas and she is going to be way ahead of us on this. She is just that much warmer there than we are here so she gets to start early and look how great this is:
We got ours going a week ago and are juuuussst starting to see a little activity sprouting. This is all good.
She asked about our composting bins and I went out to shoot a few pictures:
John took 6 pallets sold at our local Feed n Seed and 2 metal poles like we used to stake the fruit trees for stability on the back corners. He wired two of the pallets side by side for the "back, supported by the two poles banged fairly deeply in the earth.
Then with the remaining 4 pallets, he made 3 "bays" and nailed two long slender pieces of wood to the top, one in the back and one across the middle as you can see for more stability.
(That clean wood you see on top and leaning against the frames on the left is from a composting bin we bought from a catalogue which came a few weeks ago. Clearly quality control was off the day they banged this one together because it was broken, and definitely prior to packaging and shipping. A big and expensive disappointment. Yes I called the company. We await a replacement. It's been 3 weeks.)
He made 3 bays so he can keep leaves for layering in the first one, the second bay is the pile that we are adding to at the moment and the third one is the the oldest pile which we have left to complete the composting cycle. It is almost ready for use.
The black bin you see to the right is where I stow the chicken manure in straw after cleaning the coop. We add that to the current bay as needed. Layers and layers of lovely muck.
Yesterday, when he "turned" the middle bay contents, the steam poured forth, a good indication of how "hot" it is and it really had a great fragrance as well. We don't see any worms so I think it is the degradation is more due to bacteria and bugs but I hope in the spring the native worms find us.