A simple way to start a compost pile is to create a wire basket. Take a sheet of mesh fencing such as chicken wire, hardware cloth, or chain link fencing that is readily accessible. Overlap the sides of the mesh to make a tube. Fasten the sides together with wire, plastic ties, lacing, twist ties, or other fastener of your choice. Secure the bottom of the pile so that it won’t blow over in the wind. In the illustrated wire basket, I used bricks that I put in the bottom of the tube and surrounding it. The tube is also tied to the adjacent chain link fence with wire. An alternative method of securing the compost basket is to secure it to wood or metal stakes driven into the ground.
For optimal composting action, the basket should have a minimum volume of one cubic yard or one cubic meter. Smaller composters will be less effi….