What will you be growing? And what zone are you in?
Here's all my protips in one line: Garret Juice, Emulsified Fish n' Seaweed, Worm casings, a soil activator/humate, and a mycorrhizal fungi. No need for a tumbler. A pitchfork and a pile is fine, it won't combust. Not that I know shit about gardening; I don't. Sounds like you have a good neighbor to get real tips from though.