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 first 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.
The second illustration of a wire mesh basket composter is a photo that I took at the Victor Valley College Department of Agriculture’s Garden. This composter doesn’t appear to be secured to the ground. It is larger and may have sufficient mass to hold itself in place.
For optimal composting action, the basket should have a minimum volume of one cubic yard or one cubic meter. Smaller composters will be less efficient. In wet climates, protect the compost from rain that can leach the nutrients away from decomposing material. In dry climates, protect the compost from drying out. This particular pile gets watered daily. My larger pile is watered and turned weekly.