Tuesday, October 16, 2012

How to Start Worm Compost Bin

This fall I am participating in a Permaculture Design Course through the Simple Living Institute http://www.simplelivinginstitute.org/. Tia and Terry Meer are teaching the course and have discussed a wide range of topics. For day 4, we discussed propagation from seeds and cuttings, composting piles, and worm composting. All of these are important in applying permaculture and integrating sustainable living. It is a way of life that takes time and is constantly developing.

Steps to Building Worm Bin


The bottom container has a tap that allows worm compost tea to be released. The worm tea is very concentrated so I water mine down to a ratio of 1 part worm tea and 10 parts water. It is a wonderful liquid fertilizer for plants. I use it for plants that need a little extra boost in nutrients. Then I lay down a thin cloth before adding the first tray which will be where the worms and food scraps are added. At the bottom of the tray, I put ripped up paper. This is a great way to recycle junk mail and newspaper!

Buy worm bins and red wiggler worms at http://vermifactory.com/ 


The next step is adding some soil and coconut coir that came with the kit our family bought at VermiFactory.com. Adding soil from the garden will add microorganisms that will assist in the breaking down process.


And now the best part, add the worms and scraps from the kitchen. The video at the beginning of the entry discusses what to feed worms.


Next, top it off with more paper. Using a paper shredder is the best method, but shredding by hand will work as well. Finish it off by watering it in. The kit I have comes with three trays which can be stacked as needed. The worms multiply rapidly so the more food you add the more worms you will have. When a tray is almost ready to harvest, I put it at the very top so the worms start crawling to a lower bin in search of more food. I leave the lid off so the bin will dry out. When it is ready, you can harvest the worm compost and add it around plants.

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