My dad’s passion was gardening. He was a certified Master Gardener and a winner of hundreds of first prizes for his roses.
He was also a child of the Great Depression, so he knew how to save a buck. For his beloved roses he used a system that included using “manure tea” (google it) and made his own mulch with a chipper and fallen/pruned tree limbs.
For the vegetable garden he had a system of making compost that was both simple and extremely cheap. It cost nothing other than the cost of a shovel.
His system involves digging a small pit (1 foot by 2 feet at the opening & about 2 feet deep)in an area of your back yard that is the farthest from the house. Every time you have plant materials you put them in the pit. This includes weeds from the garden, trimmings from shrubs, vegetable and fruit trimmings/peels, and any leftover vegetable and fruits that would otherwise be thrown away. Of course we mostly saved leftovers like that & ate them soon or froze them to use later. But corn cobs from corn on the cob, watermelon rinds, etc. went in there. Never any fats or proteins like meat.
Once that first pit was dug, he never needed to dig a new pit all at one time. After about 7 inches (if I remember correctly) of plant material in the pit it was time to cover it with a little layer of dirt. He got that dirt by digging a little bit to the right of the first pit. That way he was digging the new pit a little at a time. So by the time he decided the first pit was full enough he usually had the new pit already dug to the right. Easy peasy. He never turned the composting material over or added water or anything. Because of that the composting took longer. It wasn’t ready to be used on the garden for about a year. The size of the pit is not very important–just make it how you want.
This process repeated itself with a new pit getting dug about once every month or two I think. YMMV In the spring it was time to check the first pit to see if everything was completely rotted into soil. If not, he left it until it was. Any compost that had turned totally into soil was spread around the vegetable plants.
Over the 30 years or so that he did this, our garden turned into compost gold. That soil is so rich you could grow anything on it! You know it’s rich when you dig some up & it’s like chocolate cake! He fed us well on that soil with the sweetest, juiciest, meatiest green peppers I’ve ever had. They were so good we ate them like candy. The green beans were Julia Child good and we had wonderful leaf lettuce and corn on the cob. There was more, but I’m happy to say we were totally spoiled by that garden. And he did it all for cheap. That was my dad & I’m darned proud of him. He has passed now, but not in our memories.
You can try all sorts of compost methods and enclosures, but none are as cheap and easy as this one. Of course many are quicker.