I’ve posted about composting before, and also given you ways that you can compost without a compost bin. I mentioned (in that blog) about my homemade IKEA hack worm composter, and having received a few emails about it, I thought it probably warranted its own post.
What’s A Wormery?!
Vermiculture is the term given to using worms to breakdown your kitchen waste, and those worms live in a wormery, worm bin or worm composter (just different terms for their abode).
Worms are awesome. Not only do they breakdown waste, they also aerate the soil. But wait, there’s more…
A lot of ‘shop-bought’ compost will have been sterilised to kill off harmful bacteria and in doing so you lose a lot of the goodness in the soil. In fact, homemade compost contains micronutrients and organisms that promote healthy growth in plants. Sure, it is not the only way to do things, but if you can, you’re likely to be at an advantage when it comes to healthy, happy plants.
I got the idea for this wormery from an Instructable. I followed the instructions pretty closely, changing only the volume of the bins used (because simply I had some of these already, and we generate a lot of kitchen waste in our house).
When I actually started using the composter, I found a couple of design flaws which I subsequently corrected. I found that the worms would migrate into the lowest of the tubs (the one that captures the excess water), and, unfortunately, die. I simply added a piece of the weed-proof garden membrane between the lowest level of waste, and the bottom bin, which solved the problem instantly.
Another issue that arose was that the original Instructable was designed for indoor use. Our worms live out on the roof terrace, and sometimes the wind whips through there at a rate. The top lid would fly off regularly, so that was simply fixed by weighing down the lid. As you can see in the picture, two bottles filled with water are enough to do the job.
I bought our worms online, and they’ve now been happily living on the roof for two years now. They’ve survived winter (wrapped in bubble wrap and a blanket for insulation), as the temperate dropped below -10°C. They also made it through the summer, when we baked in over 40°C heat, by simply being moved into the shadiest part of the terrace.
So what’s stopping you? Head down to IKEA now, and get yourself a wormery!!