I used this compost bin as an example for setting up my raised bed. This is behind Trout Lily, a local grocery store and sandwich shop. They compost. Of course, the wire is too high for a raised bed but I was told that the wire should wrap under the pile of compost so voles and/or moles can't crawl in from underneath and eat away at the roots of your plants.
The first thing I had to do was create a place to put the compost bed. We still have a lot of logs from when our property was cleared so I decided to use some of them to make a frame for the mesh.
|I bought this great saw.|
|It didn't take long to saw through some of the old pine.|
|I was so proud I was able to haul this up from the log pile behind me after cutting it the the length I needed.|
|And soon I had the beginnings of a frame for my raised garden bed. I wrapped the wire mesh around the bottom and up the sides and fastened it with zip ties.|
|In the summer this area gets sun almost all day. As you will see it worked out perfect as a garden. On top of the wire mesh I put down some cardboard then layered the compost with some peat moss and straw.|
After a trip to the hardware store I started the construction of my raised compost bin barrels. The reason I decided to raise them was because I thought it would be much easier to dump them out after they are full. They have a door that screws onto the side of the barrel. They roll on their frame so you can rotate them to get air to the center of the waste (needed for it to rot properly). When ready, you unscrew the door and either shovel out the compost - which we found difficult to do, or you tip it on its side and try to dump it out - which we also found difficult. Having them raised, I hoped, would make emptying the barrels easier - in theory! I'll let you know next spring when I begin to empty them.
|This was my first trip to the hardware store by my self for such a big project.|
|I started construction in the basement because - for me - it was just too cold outside.|
|Jim helped me on engineering the frames - so they would be able to hold the weight of the barrels.|
|I was really pleased how it turned out.|
|I started using them right away. I began with the one farthest away from the solar panels because I was worried they might be in the shade once the sun was lower on the horizon during the winter. I filled the ones closet to the solar panels last.|
|While I was building the compost bin frames Jim was re-working our fire pit and at the same time helping me with construction questions.|
|The fire pit is a great place to enjoy after a hard day's work.|
|Or a great place to enjoy during a hard day of work!|
|Now that my garden and compost areas are ready I started sprouting some seeds for planting after Mother's Day. Why wait till after Mother's Day...|
|Because chances are good that it will snow just one more time. I also spread oats in big open area in the yard - yep, they got covered with snow, but for them I think it was ok. It didn't stop them from growing.|
|I'm not sure I mentioned that I tried my hand at making Kombucha. It is a fermented tea that is supposed to be good for you. You find all sorts of varieties in health food stores. This is a strawberry and a peach.|
|Jim is very brave! It worked out great but I didn't keep making it because I was making more than we could drink. Since it is a bit acidic (like soda) we decided to stick with water...it is the best for you when it comes to your health.|
|One more great experiment for the spring... I gave Jim a hair cut. I mentioned he is brave. It turned out really well.|
|We heard some strange noises outside one night and found this little guy on the feeder. He is a flying squirrel. We watched this one and another take several tries before they nailed it.|