UPCYCLED COMPOST BIN

“Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.”

James 4:13-15 is a section of verses which remind us of our dependance on God us we plan and carry out even the simplest of our life’s tasks. We may plan any number of activities, but since we “…know not what shall be on the morrow…” we have to acknowledge that our plans are always subject to God’s plan for our days. As a wife and mother, I often find my own plans for a given day changed by the need some member of my family has at any given moment. This was true this past weekend when one of my daughters decided that she wanted to have chickens, put in a container garden, and start a compost bin to keep her busy this summer. ๐Ÿ™‚ We have had a compost bin in the past, but since our move to a rental house with substantial tree cover, we have not tried to garden, so the compost bin has not been at the top of our to-do list. We always figured we would get back to it when we purchase a house. ๐Ÿ™‚ Now, with my daughter wanting to garden and me wanting to have fresh vegetables, I turned my attention to providing gardening supplies and putting together some sort of compost bin that would not be a permanent structure, but would allow my daughter a place to experiment with composting.

In reviewing in my mind the things that I had on hand that might be pressed into service for this project, I remembered that I had saved a couple of large twenty+ pound cat food bags made of the plastic used to make tarps. I had originally saved these because of their tarp-like qualities, but I had not used them yet because the cat food residue suggested an outdoor purpose. Even though I know that they can be washed, I was reluctant to make just anything out of them. I guess it’s a mental thing! Anyway, I retrieved them, cleaned them up, and decided that they might be pressed into service. My plan was to add a circular bottom piece cut from one ba, to the existing tube-shape of the second bag. With ventilation slits and a way to remove the composted soil from the bottom, it would at least contain the material to be composted.

The cat food bag forms a natural tube-shape when the seams from both ends have been removed. That being done, the next step was to cut the circular bottom and sew it into place. A quick check revealed that a standard dinner plate was the right diameter to fit the size of the tube, so I used one as a template to cut the circle I needed from the first bag, making sure to leave an additional half-inch all around. Because I wanted the white side of the bag to be on the outside of my finished product and I wanted the stitched seam to be on the inside, I attached the new bottom making sure that I had the right sides (the white ones) together. To help keep the bag open, I also turned the top edge under a couple of times and stitched that down as well. Then I turned the bag right-side-out.

With my stitching done, I turned my attention to cutting a hole in the bottom side of the bag (to facilitate removal of the finished compost), and to making ventilation holes in the sides of the bag. To make the hole in the bottom, I simply folded the bag over and removed a section with my scissors. There was nothing scientific about this -I guessed! Then, folding the bag over a couple of times, I cut inch-long alternating cuts along the folds on both sides. I made sure to leave a good section of the center of the folded strip without any cuts so that it would be able to hold its shape (and the compost!) once I unfolded it. See the photo if this is confusing. Once it was opened up, I stopped up the hole in the side by turning that side of the new bin to the wall.

I have no idea if this will work or how well, but this was another of my unplanned projects that I thought I would share. I will try to remember to give an update later on its performance. Certainly it demonstrated to me the truth of the scripture passage quoted above and Proverbs 16:9 which says, ” A manโ€™s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.”ย I can and should plan, but I also need to allow for His guidance and for Him to change my plans if He desires.

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