A new in-ground worm bin!

Good Cheer needed more composting capacity to handle the food waste being generated by out-of-date produce donations. With the help of Todd and Teresa Spratt from Bugabay Vermicomposting, we now have a new in-ground worm bin!

Wayne Morrison generously donated his backhoe skills, clearing the area next to the hoophouse and digging the trench for the worm bin.

Barton Cole donated his time to build the 3 ft x 6 ft x 24 inch worm box out of 1 x 6 cedar boards. It was set in the ground so that just 6 inches was showing. Note the slatted wood between the two 3 x 3 partitions. This is so worms can travel between the sections as one side finishes off while the other side is filled up with fresh scraps.

On June 10th, as part of the Growing Groceries program, Todd Spratt demonstrated how to get the worm bin started.

Food scraps were added, and then covered with partially aged horse manure. It was watered until the consistency of a wet sponge. DUMP, COVER and DONE is the mantra for successful vermicomposting. To launch the bin, Todd added lots of food scraps, but normally a lesser amount would be added every few days, the volume depending on the size of your bin. A 2 ft x 4 ft x 18 inch bin is ideal for home use.

Then Todd added the worms. The rule of thumb is:

  • One pound of worms for each square foot of your worm bin. We had a 3′ x 3′ bin = 9 sq. ft = 9 lbs of worms!
  • One pound of worms consumes one pound of food waste each day. So, once our worm bin is thriving, we can process up to 9 lbs of scraps per day!

It’s up and running (so to speak!), and our summer intern, Matt Statz, is keeping those worms well fed. Nothing much to see what you’ve dumped and covered!

But those worms and scraps are making nutritious worm castings for the garden!