No, this post is not about poop.
It's about creating a brown matter reservoir for composting. I just started composting last year, even though I've been married for 11+ years and we have owned houses for the past 9 years. It just seemed too scary and overwhelming, with all the talk about the proper balance of brown and green matter and turning and aerating and sifting...so I just didn't do it. And then I decided that my lack of familiarity with composting was a pretty lame excuse and it was just time to start.
I'm a pretty laid-back composter. I simply toss any appropriate kitchen or yard waste into a pile, throw on the occasional shovel of dirt if I'm digging something up, and let it sit until it turns into compost. I don't worry about all of the fancy technical stuff. My method is often called cold composting. If you're more into composting, you can do hot composting, worm composting, and probably a lot of other kids that I don't even know about yet.
Our next-door neighbors gave us a tumbling composter last year, and that's been wonderful to have. It speeds up the process immensely, especially if you have the proper ratio of brown to green matter.
So back to brown matter: it's nice to have a mixture of green matter (kitchen scraps, green lawn cuttings, etc) and brown matter (fall leaves, paper, etc) on your compost heap. But we've always had trouble finding enough brown matter except for the fall months when leaves were falling. So this year, we took apart an old chain-link fence that we're getting rid of and made part of it into a huge leaf/compost pile.
And from a slightly different angle, here are our raised beds, which are on a sunny, graveled area in the back of our yard.