|Building the bin.|
I've been interested in creating a compost system for my apartment, as I currently dispose of organic matter (mostly food scraps) by dumping them into the building's yard waste container located in the alley. The city collects the waste and transports it to Cedar Grove. Cedar Grove, in turn, creates compost, used by Seattle City Parks, and customers, like myself, who can purchase it for use in home gardens. So, I'm buying the same food twice just in two different forms.
Creating a worm bin renegotiates this system, and ultimately amortizes the original cost of my food purchases, as well as the start-up worm bin cost. I get nutrients for myself, first, and then my plants get their nutrients all from the same original veggies and fruits. Presto!
Ashes to Ashes Soil to Soil
Worms basically macerate the food scrapes you feed them. Gritty particles of sand or soil combined with enzymes in their gizzards break down the food waste particles they consume. These then travel through the worm's digestive system and become worm castings--worm poop! The worm castings can be used in your garden. Garden gold they call it.
|The bottom bin catches worm tea.|
Lucky for us, we got to smell both byproducts last night. The worm poop smelled like soil. The tea did not smell. Which brings me to another point. The worm bin can be used indoors because if done correctly they don't stink.
|Worm tea anyone?|
Building the Bin is a Cinch
The great part about this composting class, similar to the Canning 101 workshop we previously attended at Madison Market, was that worked together to build a worm bin. It was done in under an hour.
Seattle Tilth provided instructions on materials, assemblage, usage, and how to mitigate problems with the worm bin should they arise. I've included their instruction sheets in the resources links below.
Now I just need to gather all the materials and tools and find a friend with extra worms to spare.
- Seattle Tilth Off the Shelf (OTS) Worm Bin
- Seattle Tilth Worm Composting Bin
- Garden Hotline - free gardening information!: 206.633.0224
- Seattle Public Library Urban Self Reliance Workshops