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Just because you rent, don't have a backyard or move every year doesn't mean you can't compost. There are homemade vermicomposting bins full of red wiggler worms made by Tim Musson and Leigh Bush. And for folks who want to combine their composting with their growing, Garden Tower Project offers a bin perfect for a balcony or front porch.
Earth Eats needs your help to continue bringing you news and recipes about healthy living and sustainable food. Earth Eats is a weekly podcast, public radio program and blog bringing you the freshest news and recipes inspired by local food and sustainable agriculture. Annie Corrigan is the producer of Earth Eats, and an announcer and producer at WFIU Public Radio.
Daniel Orr is a professional chef, restaurateur, blogger, and author of a number of cookbooks. Indiana Public Media is the home of WFIU Public Radio & WTIU Public Television, including your favorite programming from NPR and PBS. The reason I started this bin was because my partner wanted to compost the leftovers from the kitchen.
As I had been farming worms for about a year and had gained some good ideas from the internet, I decided I liked the idea of a continuous flow-through bin, as it would make harvesting very easy. I put some pages from a telephone book and then a thin layer of aged cow manure as it was more solid than the horse manure I had. Why Donate?Buy our products if you enjoy all of this free info or simply Donate.Keep this Site going. Once you have this organic matter you can spread it on your other vegetable plants for growth and nutrition. Seed starting doesn’t always mean going out and spending money on all those nifty peat pellets and peat pots and plug trays.
Fold the edge of the newspaper down over the can, and work your way around until all the edges are folded over firmly.
The benefit to making recycled newspaper pots is that you can transplant your seedlings right into the garden, pot and all, and the newspaper will decompose naturally in the soil.
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We know that you want to make compost but if you are going to spend money on a composter, which one should you spend money on?  I’ll lay out the pros and cons of both. Put the worm castings in an old sock,cheesecloth,  or a stocking hose that has no holes and tie the opening closed. All this leads to a slow releasing fertilizer that makes your yard greener, your strawberries sweeter, and your flowers more floriferous. The worms are the work horse of your compost bin.  Check here to see what type of worms work best for you but we prefer red wigglers. The bin needs to stay dark inside and although not air tight, needs to conserve moisture for the worms.
Drill a few holes in the sides and bottom of the container, line the tray with newspaper, add dirt and your compost bin is ready to go.
Both bins have holes in them allowing the worms to migrate from the soil in the bottom bin to the food in the top bin. The composting tube down the center of the bin has holes which allows the worms to move from the compost to the soil.


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I have always wanted to make one of these and WILL some day. Incredibly easy to set up and harvest LOT's of castings. For seedlings, I find that a six-ounce can (the kind that tomato paste usually comes in) is the perfect size.
I like to press the can down on the folds to really crease the edges against the bottom of the can. Don’t worry if it seems like the pot is flimsy or unraveling, especially at the bottom. That stack of aging newspapers in the garage can be good for your garden — in more than ways than one. Will it actually harm my plants (keep them from sprouting or kill them) or is it just because petroleum-based ink isn’t organic?
And if you let the paper pots biodegrade in the soil when you transplant the seedling, that petroleum will taint your garden soil as well, defeating the purpose of an organic garden. After I finished I received an email from the Denver Post (Colorado’s main newspaper) telling me that they use petroleum-based black ink. You can take most of your table scraps and even your paper and cardboard and turn them into garden gold.  Vermicomposting can reduce your garbage by a third and double your harvest in your garden. Compost tea has even been shown to increase the nutritional quality and improve the flavor of vegetables. If you don’t have a bubbler, consider stirring occasionally, being careful not to break the sock or stocking.
Almost all of the earthworms in North America are not native, but were introduced from the Old World.  Not only have invasive earthworm species completely displaced the former native species, most of the North American forests originally had no earthworms. The field corn loved the bin and grew and grew, completely taking over the bin and the worms couldn’t keep up. Correct moisture, temperature, and the right food are all necessary to create more worms in your worm farm.
Worms generally eat their weight per day in food but most bins start without 1 pound of worms.
A bin should be between 8 and 12 deep because worms feed on the top layer and if it’s too deep moisture starts to build up and it can start to smell. A lid also keeps out scavengers but that has never been a real problem for us, even in the country.
There are many different types of bedding and most you have around the house or are easily found. Shredded cardboard.  Retains moisture better than newspaper but harder to throw through the shredder.
She layered the bin with moistened newspaper shreds on the bottom, then compostable food scraps and dirt, then more moistened newspaper shreds on top.
She earned degrees in oboe performance from Indiana University and Bowling Green State University. I do have other bins which I put only organically grown materials into, as the castings are used for our fruit and vegetables.The bin cost virtually nothing to make ( I had bought the bamboo the previous year for about 2 euro) as I used materials that were at our home. When worms are fed food waste and decomposing vegetables, they turn it into a highly nutrient-dense organic matter. It’s also fine if there is a small hole where the folds meet in the middle — that just provides extra drainage.


Once filled with seed starting mix and moistened, the pot is surprisingly sturdy and holds it shape well. It seemed more wasteful to buy a paper specifically with the intent of slicing it into pots, so I wanted to make sure there were no serious harms from the ink. No part of this site may be copied, reproduced, republished or distributed without express written consent of the copyright holder. When sprayed on the leaves, compost tea helps suppress foliar diseases, increases the amount of nutrients available to the plant, and speeds the breakdown of toxins. The result is an unexplained event.  The resulting matter has 6-8 times more micro-nutrients than the original matter they ate. Got first lot of castings a few weeks ago so it will be a while yet before I get some more.
You can then toss the used newspaper into your compost pile, or repurpose it as bedding for your vermicompost bin. You will want to check with your newspaper company to make sure they use soy-based, which can be used for veggies, before you spend the time.
I love to turn weekend getaways into week-long road trips and spend my days in the sun, sand or surf. They also clean the matter of disease pathogens as they process the material through their body.
I am finding worms close to the bottom but this may change in time once what the worms find attractive down there is gone. The old wheelie style bin belonged to the previous house owner and the piping that I used had been lying in a ditch at the end of the garden. This means for my first harvest it was only a small amount compared to what I get when I harvest my other bin.
On the flipside the harvest is little and often where the other bin takes a bit of effort to harvest about every six months.
To the left are some great articles to answer some of your questions and to the right you can get everything in book form. The worms were also sourced free from a manure pile at a local equestrian centre.*Editor's note*Does this give you guys any ideas for free worms?
Time will only tell but I imagine once the bin is established the worms will be more drawn to feeding at the top ..
Our winters here do not get very cold so I feel the mass of the bin will be enough to keep the worms insulated. I like this depth as I can bury food with ease and I hope the mass will provide insulation through the winter. As it has wheels it makes it very easy for one person to move it about.The bin has Red Wigglers or Eisenia Fetida worms. In the beginning there were only a few hundred but the population is increasing all the time. I was pleasantly surprised to see the worms have no problems dealing with what I throw at them. The main bedding is aged horse manure and occasionally I add some to the top to keep the fruit flies at bay.



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