Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Make Your Own Barrel Composter - Thrifty Thursdays

As you probably already know, I also publish While creating and testing the wonderful recipes we have on the site, we accumulate lots of food scraps, just like you probably do at home. So instead of throwing them away, we decided to extend their usefulness and compost them for our garden.

With the price of groceries these days, you're going to want to use every last scrap. In addition to kitchen waste, you'll also want to add raked leaves, mowed grass, and other plant matter to give your compost balance.

You can certainly make compost without this composter, but using it will keep the process (and your yard) neat, and in warm weather, it will churn out a new batch of fresh garden-ready compost about every 2 to 3 weeks! If you were to buy a composter like this it would cost you several hundred dollars. For well under a hundred dollars you can make it yourself.

All you need to get started is a food safe plastic barrel -- like those used for shipping cooking oil to restaurants, some PVC pipe, and a few basic tools. Be sure the barrel you use for this project was used to store food -- you don't want chemicals leaching into your soil via your composter. Check with your favorite restaurants to see if they have any old barrels they want to get rid of. You can also purchase food safe barrels inexpensively on, (where else?)

Supplies Needed to Make a Barrel Composter

30 feet of 1 inch PVC pipe
4 feet of 1.25 inch PVC pipe
12 1-inch PVC Tee fittings
4 1-inch PVC 90 degree elbows
8 1-inch PVC 45 degree elbows
4 feet of 3 inch perforated PVC pipe
2 3-inch PVC end caps
6 square feet nylon screen
1 35-gallon food safe barrel with removable lid

hole cutter
PVC cutter or small saw
PVC cement

2 1/2 inch thread bolts
spray paint for plastic (Krylon makes a good one)
masking tape

Now that you have all the supplies and tools necessary to build this composter, let's move on to part 2 where I'll tell you how to put it all together. Our photo tutorial will take you through the construction process step-by-step and when you're finished, you'll have a brand new barrel composter for your garden. Click here for full free instructions on how to build the barrel composter.

Thrifty Thursdays is a blog event created by my fried Amanda Formaro from Amanda's Cookin' blog. I've agreed to participate, so look for a frugal themed post here each Thursday. In addition to reading my posts, be sure to visit Amanda's blog for a round-up of all the thrifty home and cooking tips and recipes that came in this week from folks around the blogosphere.

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