One of the great things about having a backyard farm is that it allows you to waste much less than you would otherwise. In our house, our food scraps, vegetable cuttings, and uneaten leftovers are all used. We feed the vegetables to our Rabbit who then makes that food into good garden fertilizer. We give most of the other food, (including vegetables that the rabbit doesn't eat) to our chickens. Did you know that chickens will almost eat anything? Well they do, and all of that food energy goes into making eggs or more fertilizer. Everything that our chickens don't eat goes into our compost bin with the chicken waste and rabbit poop so we can add rich organic material to our garden. We also shred our newspapers and junk mail and add them to our compost bin instead of recycling all of our paper.
Here is how we made a simple compost bin for less than $20. We bought a sturdy plastic garbage can at our local store.
For the organic material to break down it needs oxygen. We drilled holes in the can at regular intervals.
You will want to add what are called green and brown materials to your bin to get a good ratio of carbon rich and nitrogen rich matter in the compost. Brown materials are high in carbon and they include ash or wood material, shredded cardboard boxes and newspaper, leaves, pine needles, and fruit waste. Green materials are high in nitrogen and include grass clippings, coffee grounds, vegetable scraps, manure, most food waste, seaweed, hay, and other green leaves from plants. It is suggested that you layer these materials. The smaller the material is the better as well. On a daily basis we have more green waste than brown so we throw everything in the compost bin and then add our browns periodically by shredding paper and scooping up some hay from the chicken coop.
Once you have a good mix of greens and browns you want to mix them together. In this picture we are rolling the compost bin to mix the compost. We have found that adding a bungee cord from handle to handle over the lid helps to keep the lid on as we roll it. You also want to keep your compost relatively moist so you might need to sprinkle it with water periodically.
It normally takes 1 to 2 months for your compost to form. For this reason it might be a good idea to have a few separate bins. If you don't want to make a bin like this or you are on a larger property, you can just pile your compost in an area of your property that is preferably far away from your home as it tends to stink. You can also just form a fenced in compost area with fencing, bricks, or cinderblocks if you want to keep it more contained.
I find a lot of satisfaction in taking what most consider garbage and making it into something that helps my garden grow.