The Galvanized Compost Digester


The kids found a big galvanized tub of some sort:



It was probably the casing for something, but I have no idea what.

That doesn’t matter, though, as whatever its original purpose was, it has now been repurposed as a compost bin.


You can see the video here:

As I remark in the video, my Dad built a compost bin in his back yard that continually digests all the kitchen scraps from the house without being turned. Nature does it for you. This bin is a great size for making lots of compost.

I have lots and lots of leaves available thanks to the cocoa orchard.



Local farmers often rake up all the leaves beneath their cocoa trees and burn them. I was told this makes it easier to find all the cocoa pods when they harvest, but I find that management method to be a terrible waste.

Trees are designed to cycle nutrients. Old leaves drop, are digested by soil organisms, then the trees reabsorb the nutrients. Since I have started managing the cocoa here, I have let nature take its course in rotting the leaves – except for the occasional tarp-load of leaves I “borrow” for composting.

The soil beneath the cocoa is no longer cracked clay. Instead, it’s darkening and softening as it’s filled with humus and crisscrossed with fungal hyphae.

Cocoa leaf management aside, I am excited about this new no-turn compost bin. We’ll just keep chucking in lots of good stuff and in a year or so I’ll dump it out and start sifting.

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  • When will we (the much larger we, of course) learn the folly of burning leaves!? That mindset goes right along with the manicured lawn. It drives me nuts. Especially when folks (I’m in MO) ruin a beautiful spring or fall day by polluting the air with clouds of smoke. Ugh. And then they buy bags of mulch and compost, of course. Aaaargh!

    • Yeah. Destroy resources and then replace them by buying new ones. Folly.

      I used to really love burning leaves. Occasionally I will still make a pile of them, then piles sticks on top, make a fire, then put it out, dig it into the ground and plant melons there – but I never burn leaves like I used to, long ago before I really knew better.

      I actually don’t mind the smoke, myself – it smells like fall to me.

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