29 August 2008

We’ve Got Worms on the Balcony: Vermicomposting at Home

A few weeks ago we started a Can-O-Worms, a vermicomposting bin, and we love it; no smell, no hassle. What it does is it turns all your kitchen waste into rich compost for your plants.

Having a compost bin at home also saves unnecessary “waste” from being transported (which again uses petrol and produces CO2 not to mention the packaging waste) to landfill or incinerating plants where the nutrients are lost. The Can-O-Worms lets you recycle your organic waste plus saves you from having to buy fertiliser for your plants. Of the waste you add to the compost bin, only 30% will be left as compost- the rest is water and comes out through the tap in the bottom. This fertilising liquid (also called "worm tea") can also be added (1/4 fertiliser, 3/4 water) to the plants.

The Can-O-Worms works without electricity and has hardly any maintenance to it. Thousands of red earthworms do the work by turning your food scraps into compost. See the short video above on how to get started.

A few additional tips:

- Place the Can-O-Worms into the shade.
- Leave the tap open to avoid the lower tray from flowing over or smelling bad.
- Always cover the fresh food scraps with mature compost, saw dust or coconut fibre to avoid attracting fruit flies.

More stories from our worms soon! In the meantime check out Reln, the Australian Can-O-Worms producer, and, FullCycle and Abundant Earth who both have good information about Vermicomposting. In Spain, Compostadores are the national distributors of the product (some 120€), and their web site has plenty of information in Spanish.

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