I plan on building a three bin system later this year or early next year but so far, free piles have been working fine for me.
The magic about compost is, if you look at that pile, it started off as three cubic yards of oak leaves as well as a couple bushels of rotten produce and about 30 lbs of free coffee grounds from starbucks. The finished pile had a pH of 7.0...
If you look close it will seem rather, um, twiggy, but that's no problem when I using it as substrate because I run it through the chipper/shredder before pasteurization and/or brewing compost tea (which i often use to hydrate my substrates)
It dawned on me that all of the thermophilic microbes that heat the pile up to it's self-pasteurizing 160(F) temps are the self-same microbes that stimulate pinning and assist fight off contaminates in our pasteurized substrates. So I figured why not take some fresh brewed tea and use it to hydrate my coir+compost based substrates? If nothing else, it provides a boatload of readily assimilates nutrients for the mycelium as it recovers from being spawned.
As always, YMMV...
Shit, I completely forgot about the composting thread I was going to start.
With a pile like the one you have there, it's nearly impossible to tell whether you have a correctly balanced carbon/nitrogen ratio for optimal composting and an end result.
I'll get right on it tommorrow. :dead: