Don't believe it when you read you have to frequently stir your compost. This is for obsessive compulsive people. The idea of stirring compost almost made me not want to start in the first place. While you are at it, ignore the part about straining compost too. Do people do that, really??
The bin on the left is the box I throw stuff into. The one on the right is usually empty at this time of year. Here you see a bit of stuff in it. I threw rotten tomatoes in there so my husband wouldn't see it (forgot they were in a closet ripening). He seriously would try to eat a rotten tomato. When it is cool out, just before it is about to snow, shovel out the stuff from the left bin into the right. It took me 20 minutes and that is the only time I "stir the compost". Doing this allows the least decomposed material to go to the bottom, and the most to go to the top. Come Spring time you will have lovely compost. The bin on the left will get filled up with food all throughout the winter. It will almost fill the top as nothing decomposes in winter ( you knew this, right?). When it starts to melt in the Spring, pile a bunch of soil on top before it starts to smell bad. It'll shrink down in no time and you will be able to use the same bin all summer long. Come fall you transfer to the bin on the right, starting the cycle over. NOTE: The lid and front part have been removed , but the covers need to go back on as soon as you are done to avoid attracting rodents.
I found this lovely potato almost at the bottom of the pile. It must have grown from a discarded potato peel!! Now I know what that plant was that was growing out of the compost bin all summer. I'm going to feed it to the husband. I'm not at a place where I can eat stuff that lives amoung rotting things.
This is the compost transferred to the bin on the right. Look how it almost looks like soil! By next Spring this will be ready to get mixed into the garden. Note: There was no sign of the dead squirrel that the husband threw in the compost a month ago. The poor thing got hit by a car. I figured nature could take care of it better that if it was stuffed into a plastic bag and thrown into the garbage.