When we moved here, the compost pile we’ve been using was already set up in a metal ring, near the old garden. It’s been pretty full for a while, and well past time to start another one.
Today, I decided to dig out the metal ring in preparation for that.
The first thing I did was use a potato fork to lever under it and loosen it from the soil, and clear away some of the mulch around it or things growing out from under it.
The ring is made of two pieces put together, and this is one of the seams that I cleared.
It’s held together with a combination of electrical wire and barbed wire (without any barbs).
Between my dad and my brothers, I think we ended up with a whole lot of scrap electrical wire available, because I’m finding it used for stuff like this, all over the place!
The barbed wire, however, is a new one. 😀 Not that I haven’t seen it all over; just that it’s usually limited to jerry rigging barbed wire fences, so it make sense for them to be there.
It took some fighting with it, but I managed to get the wire unwrapped and back through the hole. Yay! I can move the rings now!
Ah. Of course.
Even though I’d lifted the ring out of the soil earlier, it wasn’t enough to reveal the second set of wires, holding it together.
The electrical wire was easy enough to get loose, at least.
At this point, I got a pair of pliers.
A pair of pliers that also had wire cutters on them. Which I needed to use, after I unwrapped part of it. The wire ran under the ring itself, with no way to finish unwrapping it from this side.
Finally, it’s clear! I could leave the other seam as is, and lift the whole thing out from the compost pile.
I don’t actually have high hopes for the compost we’ll get out of this. What we added to it should be fine, but when I tried digging into it to turn it, earlier it the summer, I was still finding lots of wood (the summer before we moved here, my sister and her husband had piled pruned branches into it, with plans to burn it, until my brother pointed out that it was too close to an apple tree!). I also found plastic garbage and pieces of fabric rags. What else might be under there, I don’t know!
Plenty of roots were hung up on the wires at the seams.
After talking about it with a daughter, I think we will move this over a tree stump near near where the old wood pile used to be. The stump itself is in the way of things, and having a compost on top of it will encourage it to break down faster. Once the ring is in place, I’ll use it to burn some of the stuff I’ve been clearing out of the edge of the spruce grove. Things like thistles and spirea don’t belong in the wood piles we’re planning to have chipped. Before, I’d put them in the fire pit, but there’s so much of it, plus we’re actually using the fire pit for cooking, now. Some of the saplings I cleared away from around the tree stump are already growing back, so starting off with a burn will ensure those are killed off, too.
I hope I can find a better way to close up the ring than using those wires, though.