DIY – Digester

I learned about underground composting from the book, Compost City.  There are actually a few methods: trench composting, sheet composting (aka lasagna gardening), and digesters.  Feeling bad about throwing compostables away since we moved, I wanted to find a way to compost again.  We talked a little about vermicomposting with worms, which Alice’s class does, but in the end we went with a digester!


A digester can be as simple as a galvanized metal trash can, drilled with holes and partially buried in the ground where microbes, insects, and worms can find the organic material inside and help break it down.  The sun warms the exposed section and there you go!  We’ll see how it goes through a McCall winter but for now, it’s nice to compost again.

Picture from Compost City, Chapter 5: Outdoor Composting, Underground Systems 

Alice and I couldn’t wait to get started!  Here’s what we needed:

  • Metal trashcan with lid
  • Drill with 1/4″ bit (thanks Dad!)
  • Safety glasses
  • Gloves
  • Shovels
Step 1: Drill Holes (and get your boots on!)
Step 2: Check the Lid
Step 3: Dig In!
Step 4: Check the Fit
Step 5: Fill it In
Step 6: Revel in a Job Well Done!

Alice was all about helping every step of the way.  She jumped right into the hole and claimed the job of ‘rock getter’.

Girl just earned herself a new chore!



4 thoughts on “DIY – Digester

  1. rebecca

    Love this post, and thanks so much for checking out Compost City! With your permission, I’d love to share the photo of your little helper making a digester + the book on my instagram page. Let me know! Either way, thanks again! 🙂


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