One of the projects we worked on last week was our compost bays. Last year we had a pile in the back of our garden that was an untamed mess. It was hard to turn and impossible to keep contained. When we moved the fence recently, we realized we had enough room to install a permanent composting area. We are super short on funds lately, so we decided to get scrappy and use whatever we could find for free. We had seen multiple ideas for composting systems made out of pallets and we had a pile of them at our garden, so we thought we’d give it a try. We made our system into 4 bays; one for cooking compost, one for compost that is ready to go, one for super woody stems and stalks that take longer to break down, and one for storing mulch or straw for the garden. Here’s how we did it:

Start by making really silly faces and picking the perfect spot. I feel silly faces make every project run a bit smoother. Make sure you pick a spot that is centrally located for ease of use.


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We then gathered some old t-posts we had lying around from putting up fencing and stringing tomatoes.

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Next, we lined the pallets along the side of the fence and started making 3 sided bays with them. We placed the t-posts in the openings in the end of the pallets and drove the t-posts into the ground to secure them.

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Now, just keep going until you have as many bays as you think you will need. We recommend at least two (one for cooking and another for ready to use).

Here is the finished product. I think it looks pretty good!

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Peace, Nicole and Nick



  1. Very nice! I just sent your post to my hubby. Question : Are the blue ones okay to use? I thought the paint on them had stuff like formaldehyde in them?

  2. Much lighter than my cinder block version, but they were free for the taking! I have the cook pile, and three materials collecting nooks. My cook pile houses cute little hibernating toads…so I knock loudly before removing the compost. LOL

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