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Bernie and Tex have promised to make me a turning compost out of a 55 gallon drum, but we have a to-do list a mile long and the composter isn't as close to the top as I'd like, so I decided to start an easy composter using old tires.

This method really only requires a couple of old tires, but the sawsall made it easier to cut out some of the tire away. You can do this by hand, but it's a bit tiring.

Below is step by step instructions on how to make a very functional and easy composter.

We started with two old tires we had laying around from when we changed the tires on our backhoe. Any old tires will work though.
You don't want to have to deal with compost material rotting inside the tires, so you really need to cut back the tire a bit. Bernie started a large hole with a big drill bit.
Then he used that hole to insert the sawsall blade and trim away a good bit of the tire.
After cutting away on both sides, this is what we ended up with. He did this to both tires.
We started by filling the tire with some wood chips we had from tree branches we had shredded.
Then we added some dried leaves, which are plentiful here this time of year.
Next I dumped in some kitchen scraps I've been collecting. Any scraps will do, as long as it's not meat or really greasy. You want your compost ration to be about 75% brown material (wood chips, mulch, leaves, etc) and 25% green material (kitchen scraps, grass clippings, pulled weeds, etc.)
Then we just mixed it all together really well.
We put the 2nd tire on top at this point. The 2nd tire will come in handy when it's time to "turn" your material. I'll explain how in a minute. But after we added the second tire, we added a little water - just enough to moisten it good. I'm all bundled up and look like a wooly mammoth in this picture - which reminds me to tell you that you can start a compost anytime of the year! It doesn't have to be spring - and if you want that nice compost for your garden, right now is a good time to start it.
Then I turned all the material inside really well.
The reason you start with two tires is to make turning your compost easier. When it's time to turn it (I like to do that at least once a week), you just place the empty tire on the ground and then shovel the contents of the full tire into it. Then you place the now empty tire on top again. As your compost pile grows, you'll be adding tires. You'll turn your compost by placing the top tire on the ground, sliding the next tire over so that the contents fall on the ground next to the pile of tires. Shovel that into the empty tire, and then place the now empty tire on top. Repeat this process until you have removed all compost filled tires and shoveled all contents into the new compost pile of tires. Make sense? By the way, this picture is exactly why you see so few of me up on this website. I am NOT photogenic.

 

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