They look great and the removable boards will make it much easier to pull stuff out, but my concern is with that bottom screen. Your compost will sift through it and that gap will soon fill up with all the best stuff. Further, that'll make it difficult to get in there quickly with a hay fork and give it a turn. My hunch is that the tines of your fork will constantly snag on that wire mesh. You may want to cut a square piece of plywood and drop it into place.
To reassure your wife, rodents and critters really don't want much to do with a 150 degree compost pile, and then once it's cooked like that for a couple of days, there isn't anything for them to eat even after the pile begins to cool down.
Let us know how that works. You can always pull that mesh off the floor if it proves to be a pain in the arse.
"The rule of no realm is mine. But all worthy things that are in peril as the world now stands, these are my care. And for my part, I shall not wholly fail in my task if anything that passes through this night can still grow fairer or bear fruit and flower again in days to come. For I too am a steward. Did you not know?" Gandolf
Location: Olympia, Wa
posted 1 year ago
Ya, i have the same concern about the bottom. I don't have any plywood with me at the moment so I though I would roll with it and see what happens. It will help a lot of air get into there though!
It should be ok. Letting that gap fill in would be preferred, then let it stay there. You only lose it once, if that makes sense. Or add dirt to fill it in. Having a connection with the ground gives access to the organisms that break it into compost, allow worms to come up, etc.
That looks great. I'm planning something similar for the spring. Right now I've just got an old garbage bin and a loose pile with a tarp over it, but I'd really like to have something like that. It would look much nicer.