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Covered pits

 
Posts: 23
Location: Western WA
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I want to start putting kitchen scraps in a compost pit, but I'm nervous a obout attracting pests. I'm at the edge of forest and creek, no neighbors to worry about, but lots of deer. I'm probably safe in assuming all the usual suspects are just beyond the treeline.
I currently have in mind to make a pit/bin out of cinder blocks with a scrap wood lid but I'm trigger shy when it comes to actually doing it.

Can I see photos of yours? Hype me up about it being okay!

My current, tentatively placed pit in the midst of branches that need to be cut up for firewood.
20230907_143117.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20230907_143117.jpg]
 
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Location: Pacific Wet Coast
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Deer are generally not attracted to compost - my apple trees, they're another matter! My bean plants - I'll swear deer think they're candy.

However, the general rule is: "if you build it, they will come."  So you need to consider what critters might be out there that *will* take an interest, and how you can exclude them or live with them.

1. Rats - they can get in small holes, but if they can, they will get in near the bottom. If you put hardware cloth under the whole compost and up the sides of the blocks a way, and then use blocks tight together most of the way up, it will force the rats to climb to get in, and that will allow the owls to spot them and help you manage the problem. I'm mostly having to live with the rat issue myself, but I have a mixture of live and kill traps I can use if they get out of hand.

2. Racoon - they're stronger than rats and are big on garbage. However, despite knowing they're around, they don't seem to bother my composts, so that suggests that so long as you've got a good mix of absorbent stuff to soak up any wet kitchen scraps, you might be OK too.

3. Bear - your biography says Western Washington, but if bears are an issue, I'd *really* consider safety. You might consider the "hole" system instead. Dig a bucket sized hole, drop in the day's/week's scraps, stick the dirt back on top. Next time, dig a hole far away from the last. Again, use lots of absorbent material to soak stuff up and chop the scraps small so that the worms will eat it up quickly. You're still feeding the soil.

This thread shows what other people have done, and some are quite sturdy looking:
https://permies.com/t/147662/composting/Show-composting-setups-pretty
 
Sarah Soleil
Posts: 23
Location: Western WA
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That thread is EXACTLY what I was hoping for. Thank you!
 
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