Sunday, March 17, 2013

Building My Worm Bin

My new worm palace
I've put off trying vermicomposting for a long time, mostly because it just seemed so unnecessary.  I already have a compost pile more than capable of processing our household waste.  Our winters aren't cold enough to freeze my pile and cause kitchen waste to build up, so why would I want to go to the bother of caring for worms?

Well, I'll save the reasons for another post.  This one is a about the bin.  I had two basic requirements: it had to drain out the bottom (I'm particularly interested in collecting the drippings), and it had to be built using materials and tools I already owned.  So here's what I did:

1. Find a container.  I happened to have three of these storage totes holding two totes worth of stuff.  A plastic container wouldn't be my first choice, but as long as the plastic is not transparent it won't harm the worms. 
2. Drill holes for ventilation at the top and bottom of the sides, plus a hole in the bottom for ventilation.  I used a 2" hole saw N bought a long time ago to install a doorknob.  I put two holes at the bottom of the each long side and one at the top.  There are also some small built-in vent holes in the handle recesses of this tote.

"Won't the worms fall out?" N asked, when he came home and his crazy wife started describing the ludicrous thing she had done with her afternoon.

3. Cut out small squares of window screening to cover each hole and hold the materials (and worms?) inside.  I used a pair of pliers to bend over the sharp edges.

4. Hot glue the screens over the holes on the inside.  This step was surprisingly easy.  Unless red worms eat glue - I just thought about that.

5. Fill the bin.  I haven't really done that part yet, except for stealing a week's worth of newspapers off of my neighbors' lawn and ripping it into 1" strips.  I'll start adding water and more perishable materials once I have a good, free source of worms.  If I'd done this last fall I probably could have scooped some of my finished compost in there and been done with it, but there aren't many worms in the pile right now because of the winter.  Hopefully in the next few weeks I'll turn the pile and see a bunch of happy little wormies in there.  Check out the video my nephew took of my last compost pile at the height of the worm population:

1 comment:

  1. What is " a good free source of worms" or where rather?