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Worm bins


A few years ago we bought two composting bins. They were being made available through a local community farm project. We decided to get two so as one filled we could start the other. These bins are fairly big so we’ve only had to start a new bin once. When we started the new bin it was more out or curiosity than need. It may, however, be time to move some stuff over and start the other bin. Its not necessary to buy a fancy bin. Anything that can provide air and water circulation and keep unwanted animals out is perfect.

What began as a composting project, to produce mulch, has become a vermiculture site. Although vermiculture comes under the definition of composting, separating the definitions in the bin is pretty difficult. The outcome is more worm castings than mulch. Some reports indicate that castings are have less nutrients than compost but there are other benefits added as the material passes through worms. What the process is called may be arguable but kitchen waste is being reduce to something usable in the yard so I’m happy.

The bins are covered and have slits to keep animals, like mice and dogs, out. The slits also provide air to the pile. Placing the bins directly on the ground allows worms and bugs to enter the pile. As material is consumed by the worms, they move up the pile into new waste that has been added. Most of the worms and bugs are at the top of the pile so when I change bins, I’ll transfer the top layer with the worms and bugs to the new bin. Worms will continue to work on the old pile until there’s no more to eat then they’ll go out the bottom.

This has turned out less complicated than anticipated. We add scraps from the kitchen, careful not to put in any proteins. Paper towels also go into the garbage pail with the same precaution: no proteins. Once in awhile we’ll add shredded paper and water. There’s usually enough moisture from the scraps. The worms and bugs do the hard work transforming kitchen scraps into soil.



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