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Discussion Starter #1
I'd really like to get a compost pile going this spring. I'd like to do this on the cheap - think wire round that I can dig and turn over. Firstly this will work right? Secondly, as the title suggests we live in an area that gets snow and with that, fairly cold temps. I think we are in Zone 2.<br><br>
Does the pile just go dormant during the late fall to early spring? Will I be able to add to it in the fall-winter-spring months even if it is cold and not *cooking*? When there is snow on the ground do I just dump my food scraps on the snow or will I have to dig out to get to the actual pile?<br><br>
Honestly, if the whole thing will not be easy as pie...I'll never keep it up and would rather know that going into it.<br><br>
~L.
 

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I live in northern BC. It's currently about -10C and about 2 feet of snow in my back yard. I'm still adding scraps every day. Your pile will go dormant but the freezing seems to break down the cell walls or something because once it thaws in the spring it cooks up really fast.<br><br>
One thing to consider is that because your pile won't be breaking down for the cold months, it can get big quite fast. Add a layer of snow or too and it can reach the top of your bin quickly. Plan for that and make a bigger bin than you think you need.<br><br>
In the summer and fall I keep a pile of "brown matter" near my bin and add a bit with each bucket of scraps. Over the winter it's covered with snow so I don't bother. I do just dump on top of the snow. In the spring I dig the whole mess out onto one of my beds and mix it with whatever brown matter I have. (my bin is now ready to start over) I turn that pile every few days. It's amazing to see the steam rise off of it on a frosty spring morning. I have finished compost by the time I'm ready to plant.<br><br>
Yes the wire hoop works well. It works better for smaller amounts of compost. I have a friend who uses several of them spread around her garden. She adds scraps and weeds to each one. She says she doesn't have to carry her compost as far to bring it too her plants. For larger bins, I find trying to lift the wire to get the compost out or turn it is dificult. Also they are not so good at keeping animals out if that's and issue for you. I need to keep our dog from eating the compost or she stinks up the house.<br><br>
My bin is made of wood.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you!<br><br>
I'm gonna give it a go.<br><br>
We do have dogs but the garden is fenced and I think the compost will go there. It does sound like I need to consider ease of turning and getting at the finished compost when I decide on a container. We are a small family, have very little in the way of waste...looking to make it even smaller<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/treehugger.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Treehugger">: so I think we could get by with a simple wire bin.<br><br>
Thanks for sharing your tips and experience.<br>
~L.
 

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You're welcome.<br><br>
If your compost is going to be within a fenced area and you are looking or ease of use, you might consider just having an open pile. Can't get much simpler than tossing scraps in a pile and letting them break down.
 

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my DH made our compost pile out of left over patio blocks and retaining wall blocks. looks really really nice, like part of the landscapeing. he made a horse shoe shape that actually closes a bit more than it normally would but is not a circle. it is about 3 foot high and 4 foot across. we have a pallet on top of it now <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> till this year when he builds a top for it -- to keep put the dogs <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment">. It is visible from the house, but just looks like another retining wall. It was cheap -- even if we had bought the blocks just for that reason it would be a lot lot lot cheaper than all the cool ones you see on websites and in catologes. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> and it looks really really really nice. I bet 95 out of 100 people would not know what it was looking off our front porch.<br><br>
EVERYTHING here is frozen hard -- you can skate on our pond.<br><br>
What I do is i have a compost crock in the kitchen where evertyhting goines. when that is full, about every other day or 2 or 3 times a day depending on cooking ... it goes to a 5 gallon bucket with a sealing lid in the gargare. when that is full it goes to the compost pile -- that way we don't get lazy "oh I don't want to walk out there in the rain ..." and throw away something that should compost. the pile is maybe 75 feet from the house (I am bad bad bad with distances).<br><br>
I just keep adding to it -- and when it is thawed this spring i will just stir it all up good.<br><br>
Aimee
 
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