This galvanized can works as a food scrap digester and composter. Composting food scraps is essential to a good compost pile because of the nitrogen factor. Vegetable scraps add nitrogen, garden waste (leaves etc.) add carbon. You need both for successful composting! However...food scraps are mighty tempting to pets and critters. Trust me on this, they will find a way to get at the "treats". This is my issue! But with my DIY digester...I can put my kitchen scraps to work again.
Okay, so what will you need to get started?
- Galvanized metal trash can with lid, plastic is a no no.
- Electric drill
- Drill bit 1/4"
- Gloves (we're keepin it clean)
- Masking tape
- Permanent marker
- A spot in the yard to dig in
Step 2: Drill 30 - 40 in the sides of the can, but only in the bottom third. This is the part that will be buried and covered by soil.
Step 3: In a well drained spot, dig a hole approx. 15" deep (half as deep as your container)
Step 4: Set the container in the hole you just dug and feel wonderful about all those calories you're going to burn in the act!
Now, push the soil back in around the sides and press it in with foot or shovel.
Step 5: Your new digester is ready to use! Collect food scraps in a container in the kitchen and once or twice a week toss the scraps into your DIY digester. TIP: Its important to add a layer of dirt after each contribution. this will introduce microbes.
Here's a great tip!
Take a piece of masking tape and place it at the top of the compost mix. With a permanent marker, write the date that the digester becomes full and left to compost away! You can open the can periodically to see that the level has dropped from the kitchen scraps being broken down. Nice!
Don't be alarmed if you see wriggling worms in your compost, that is a very, very good thing! The more worms you find in your soil, the healthier your soil will be.
Celebrate your worms! Ha!
Depending on your household, the digester will fill in 2 to 4 months. Harvest the compost by shoveling the upper foot or so of un-decomposed food off to the side and shoveling the dark, beautiful compost out of the bottom of the digester. Return the top layer you shoveled out to the bottom of the can to complete the compost cycle. Continue filling with your kitchen scraps.
I'm so excited for you to do this! Do it and your garden will be all the more luscious and bountiful. And a special thank you to the vegetable gardener for this great idea!