Ingredients

Directions

You already may know that I think that good, rich composted soil is “black gold,” so it may be no surprise that I think it is worth creating your own gold. The best way to do that is to have your own compost bin of some sort. Remember that to make compost you need four components - organic matter like leaves and straw; garbage and kitchen waste without any meat or dairy; soil; and water. Just remember that you want to turn the waste periodically so that it will decompose more quickly.
You have a few choices on how to make your own compost. One choice would be to just make a compost pile out near your garden and add the four components as they become available. The problem with this is that it is not easy to contain the contents and is not very neat. You or someone else in your house may not like the looks of it as well.
Another choice is to take a plastic container of some sort (like an old plastic trash can or storage bin) and drill holes into it, about every 2 inches or so, on all sides, on the bottom, and on the lid. (The container must have a lid.) If you are able to obtain a second lid without any holes, this would be perfect to catch the liquid that leaches out of the holes. Otherwise, this nutrient-filled liquid will be wasted. 
Every day or so, as you think of it, you can aerate the bin by giving it a quick shake. If the contents of the bin are always wet, or if there is an unpleasant odor, add some shredded fall leaves, shredded newspaper, or sawdust to the bin. This will dry it out and help restore the ratio of greens to browns that makes decomposition happen quicker. This is a good way to try out composting without making it into a big project. 
Of course you can also buy a compost bin. I have one that was offered for sale at a very reduced price by the town that I live in. The towns know that if someone uses it will reduce garbage and some trash disposal. We have reduced our garbage by half. If you buy one from a garden center or online you will see many choices at many different prices.
If you the yard space for it, the method I recommend is to simply create your own wire double compost bin. It is easy to make and maintain, allows you to have one side decomposing while filling the other, and it is cheap. It is also easy to move material as it decomposes from one side to the other to speed up the whole composting process. 
Here is how it is done. Looking straight ahead, you want to make two side-by-side boxes that are each about a cubic yard. All you need are six cedar landscaping stakes, some plastic wire screening and some plastic twists to secure the fence to the posts. The first step is to pound three stakes into the ground three feet apart to form the three corners of your square for the left bin. Wrap the screen around the first three posts so that one side is open. Secure with the plastic strips. Pound in another stake at the fourth corner and bring the wire mesh up to that, wrapping it around so you can now bring it back towards the right rear stake.  
As you look directly at you box, pound another stake beside the right rear stake of the left side box, then another three feet to the right and the last stake three feet towards the front of what is now the right side box.  Now continue wrapping the mesh down between the two stakes at what is now the middle rear of the boxes and around the stakes of the right side of the right box. Secure all of the corners with more of the plastic ties and you have two side by side composts bins. 
This compost box will give you many years of “black gold” and hardly takes any time or costs relatively little money. It will be the cheapest gold that you ever invest in. 
Making A Compost Bin
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