Along with the hot composting piles that I am doing for the garden I will also be adding on Vermicomposting, or "Worm Composting" which uses specific species of worms which are Eisenia fetida, commonly referred to as "red worms", or "Red Wigglers" to compost food scraps and other organic materials.
One of the end results of the vermicompost system are worm castings which is just a politically correct way of saying worm poop. Worm castings are one of the best fertilizers that you can mix with your soil in your garden and house plants.
The other very beneficial end result of this composting process is worm leachate or "worm juice". Leachate is a brown liquid which comes from the moisture in the food scraps slowly filtering down through the worm castings collecting rich nutrients along the way. This is a very potent fertilizer that must be diluted 10:1 before feeding your plants with it. There are many different benefits to feeding the plants with this diluted leachate which we will go over in another posting later.
The Hungry Bin system which was designed in New Zealand arrived today so I will be getting that all set up and ready to go so that I can get the worms into their new home.
Here is how the Hungry Bin comes shipped to you. All packed nicely in one convenient box . . .
Here is an overview of the design. Several different prototype models were developed before they finally settled on the current system seen here.
Ok, So let's get it out of the box.
It comes shipped with all the parts nested together inside each to save space.
I first removed all of the parts along with the instructions. Going by the included instruction it took me about 5 minutes to put the whole thing together myself. I wish Ikea would make things this easy to assemble.
The one part that stumped me for a second was in step 6 where it mentions sliding the floor with the filter inserted over the lower part of the body. It is simply talking about this pan that connects to the bottom of the system with the grate inserted into it. This is the collection tray where you will harvest the worm castings from later on. The grating allow excess moisture to pass through to be collected below while holding the worm castings in place above it.
So, once it is all together it is time to start filling it up with 80 liters of compost. So let's move the Hungry Bin out t the drive way to make getting it set up easier.
I am using a local organic compost that is made with chicken manure at a local chicken farm and nursery here on Oahu.
I sift out any large pieces, sticks, rocks, bits of plastic, etc. with a garden soil sifter. We don't want anything like this plugging the system up later and causing problems.