To speed up the composting process, I've been tossing our weeds and clippings directly into the chicken pen- they go after it like a school of piranhas, and can devour a wheelbarrow-full of stuff in a day. This fall, I can shovel out their handiwork and turn it into the gardens. We also got got four more little 'composters' this week- Buff Orpington pullets. Here they are spending their days eating, sleeping and pooping in a little pen we set up in our office.
And since we haven't had much success with our compost bins, I decided to try building a tumbler to speed up the process. After perusing some examples of DIY compost tumblers at the Instructables site, I made one using an extra plastic barrel leftover from the rainwater project and a support frame built from barn timbers. The barrel turns on little plastic casters mounted to the frame. I made the frame open on the front side, and high enough so that the contents could be dumped directly into a wheelbarrow.
I cut out a door in the side of the barrel with a jigsaw, and secured it to the barrel with a piano hinge and some bolt latches.
Here it is after filling with some partially-composted scraps from our bins, weeds, grass clippings, etc.
If it works as planned, we should have usable compost in a few weeks...I'll believe it when I see it.