|Project by winecountrywhimsy||posted 04-20-2009 07:08 PM||6792 views||7 times favorited||8 comments|
This is not really a wood working project, but I am posting it on Gardentenders and thought it might be interesting to someone at Lumberjocks.
I have seen several compost barrels made from plastic and metal drums or barrels. With the access I have to wine barrels, I thought why not try to make a compost wine barrel. I then settled on three barrels so that I can have enough capacity for our garden and to handle all our yard waste.
I cut the tops of the barrels off below the top hoop. I use a reciprocating saw, but you could also use a circular saw with the blade tilted to match the angle of the barrel. I used latches to attach the top back to the barrel. I enlarged the bung hole of the wine barrel to 1 1/2 in. and cut a second hold on the other side to match. I drilled a 1/2 in. hole on the side of the barrel near the bottom and inserted a PVC valve. This allows the barrel to be drained of the “compost tea” as it builds up. This goes on your plants for a great fertilizer.
I dug holes and set fence posts in concrete. I made them tall enough so that I can get my wheel barrow under them when they are tipped and pull the compost right into the wheel barrow. I used 1 1/2 in. metal electrical conduit as the main support, running it through the holes of the barrels. I attached the conduit to the top of the fence posts with brackets. The hard part was lifting the three barrels up onto the fence post supports. That takes some friends/neighbors for help.
So, you fill it up with grass, leaves, kitchen waste, etc. Add a little water, a little fertilizer, etc. Latch the top on and spin it to mix it up. I turn them about once a week to keep them well mixed up. Add water once in a while when it looks dry. Keep the lid off for a while if it looks too wet. Usually by the time the third barrel is full, the first is ready to empty. It makes great compost for the garden.
-- Todd @ winecountrywhimsy Sonoma County, CA