Love a good hyper focus? Got Worms?
Do you want your own renewable supply of soil conditioning goodness? Are your food scraps still going to landfill? Time to start composting, worm farming and creating your own golden soil that will not only have your plants booming but you'll also be able to pass on excess to friends, or guide them through setting up their own fix.
Rough enough is good enough! You don't need to go an buy a massive expensive set up. I started with an ice cream container of worms, and a bucket. Start where you are with what you have, just start.
For those that dont have freedom of outdoor space, there are a few alternatives, such as 'Share waste', community gardens and Bokashi bins.
⛧Share waste is an amazing initiative, like tinder for scraps n compost. https://sharewaste.com/ Please share with your ppls, im still amazed that not everyone knows about this.
⛧Community gardens often have community composts. Most are very easy to find via googs or fb local community group searches. if you need help finding your local shoot us a message, we may be able to help.
⛧Bokashi bins use microbes to basically ferment th matter. Added benefits of space saving, you can if you wish compost some meat and dairy matters. Also, big props on being Ozzy! Check out their website for all th deets.
You can DIY Bokashi bins too! Extremely cheaply from mostly salvaged items. Get in touch for more info on this. I started setting one up, just for th experience of it, but then, life, eh.
Alhalrighty,.. Here, we have a rotating system. Collection, compost, rest, worm, rest, use. Ive tried composting and worm farming a few different ways, and figured out what works for us. I am yet to get a ph testing kit for th soil. It's definitely on th list, and im pretty interested to see how it measures up. This is a rough overview of how our system is set up. Each system will differ slightly depending on many locational factors, but th basics will carry over.
⛧Choose your vessels. Must have a lid, drainage holes in th base.
For a system like ours, you'll need at least three, and something to keep your finished product in, we use a fourth bin. It doesn't fkn matter what you use, you could use 10lt buckets salvaged from a restaurant.
We use black 60lt plastic bins with holes drilled in th base. I do worry about th heating plastic leaching chemicals into th mix, as I would with any plastic, including commercially sold setups. Ive been unable to find much info on this. Please get in touch if you can point me in th right direction. Ive been tempted to buy galvanized metal bins, but for now, this is what I have. If you buy th metal ones, I would use a nail and hammer to smash holes in th base of th metal bin, or if you have th appropriate drill bit, drill holes😂 .
⛧Collect and add food scraps, and other organic matters. These are your NITROGEN **No animal products** Your compost is Vegan! Heads up - cut them up small, they will degrade quicker and less chance of them rotting and getting stinky, especially raw potato!! 🤢🤮Rotting potato is like rotten fish, cut that shit up!
⛧Add CARBON. Carbon is any dry leafy matter. Add some every time you add scraps. This balances th compost. Too much Nitrogen and your compost will be stinky sludge and anaerobic shit! Too much carbon and,.. it actually doesn't really matter as long as you keep it moist.
If you don't have access to leaf litter, or like us only get an influx at th end of winter, have small yard, no big trees, I've been getting th big ass compressed cubes of fine coconut husk coir, from that big green shed. Its great value for money, extremely easy to use, speeds up th whole process, and th end product is very light consistency.
⛧ ChWater, ChEarth, ChFire, Chair! (((Water, Earth, Fire, Air)))... Well,.. its more like earth earth water, fire, air, earth.
Keep it moist bebee! if your compost is carbon heavy, and super dry, give it a spray with th hose.
Keep it in a sunny spot to help it warm up. Cold composts still compost, just a lil slower.
Th more air th better, so turn it regularly. Turn it every time you add more scraps and carbon. I use a garden fork. Stick it in th bin and turn it.
⛧Once it gets to about 3/4 full, we start a new one. If you let it get to full, It gets hard to turn without spilling shit everywhere. This bin will now 'rest', and we start bin no.2. We keep turning bin 1 every time we add scraps and turn our now filling bin 2.
⛧Worm time! When bin 2 is half full, we start adding worms to resting bin 1, depending on how its looking. At cooler times of th year, its slower at breaking down. Worms don't love onion and citrus, but they will just kind of avoid that matter. Keep turning as you turn bin 2.
⛧Once th 2nd bin is full, we rest it, and start th third bin. Our first bin is now actively worm farming. If you can't see heaps of worms after gently turning, add more. We no longer turn this bin, just let chill with th worms doin their thing. We now need to protect from heat too. Move to another position if needed. Place a damp newspaper or damp carboard under th lid of this bin and leave th lid open a little, allowing ventilation. I also store any old cardboard boxes on top of this bin. I have mostly emptied our worm bin, and added extra leaf litter, as shown here. I don't have a pic of a full worm bin.
⛧By th time your 3rd bin is full, your 1st bin should be pretty much all worm castings - worm poop, and ready to use.
When using worm casting, especially if using in pots, mix it through other soil, e.g. old clean potting mix, and let it rest for a bit, like a few days, turn it, let it rest, then its good to go. If you put worm casting straight on plants, or pot them up straight in to it, it may burn your plants and roots.
I leave my ready mix in th bin, leaving th lid off to encourage th worms to move down. Old potting mix bags are great to keep th finished product in too. As I take out what I need, usually an ice cream container or two at a time, I pick out any worms, and throw them in th 'resting bin' and th next 'worm bin'. If th ready mix sits there long enough, 3-6months plus, ill use it willy nilly and not really worry about plant burn. Pix below are of well rested worm castings bin. Its crumbly but still holds shape when squished
⛧If at any time, any of th bins stink, something is not right. Adding a fuk load of carbon, and turning several times a day, or as often as you can, adding more carbon as you do, usually helps.
Ive had times where an entire worm bin, overnight went from all good, to every worm coming to th surface in mass exodus, and then th next day it was a slimy grave yard. Nfi why. Sometimes shit just goes wrong, other times it's very easy to see whats happening and fix it before it gets outta hand.
⛧Other things we do,..
We have another bin that's for any raked-up leaf litter. doesn't usually last long, we have half bin atm. its beside th others, so i can grab and add carbon when needed. Generally, th bottom of this bin fills with worms naturally. Ive kept my bins in th same area for a few yrs now. Bin on th far left, below.
Another bin is our 'hive bin', breeding bin, that barely gets disturbed. I should probably check on them. When I do I throw in rested compost. This is where I take worms from if I need a bulk amount. Just outta shot on th right, in pic above.
There is yet another bin. This is an experimental one, to observe. I filled it with paper from old school books that would have gone to th council recycling bin. didn't rip them up or anything, just stack in a bin. pretty much only mentioning it bc it's in th pix above, beside th leaf bin.
Feel free to dm our fb page for more info or if you would like help setting up your system ✌