Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Getting ready for Spring by building a worm bin

I've been struggling with my composting methods since moving into my current residence about 1 1/2 years ago. First, I got a fancy rotatable composter.

I haven't found it to be too effective. Maybe I don't put enough dry matter into it; I don't know.

So then I was just piling stuff on the ground, which unfortunately, likely attracts rats and raccoons, not making my elderly neighbor next door very happy.

So today, with the help of Steve from the Seattle Permaculture Guild , I built a sturdy worm bin that should take care of the majority of my kitchen scraps and is a closed box. It was really pretty easy, or maybe Steve made it seem that way, but I think it's pretty easy with a few tools. Steve is a great guy and has been on the Seattle garden scene for a long time; helping  to start the first worm bins at Seattle Tilth, and he helped start the West Seattle Tool library among other things. Did I mention he builds geodesic domes, and makes fabulous ceramic tile pieces?

On to the worm bin..... we started with an old wood cabinet from Second Use , which sells recycled building materials.

Next we cut it about in half, so we had most of a box already.

We knocked apart the leftover pieces to use to complete the box. 

We put some smaller pieces in the opening to strengthen the corner and to have something more to screw the side piece to.  We found it better to use screws to attach certain pieces where hammering would have knocked it apart. You would have to judge which would be best depending on the materials you have and whether you are using a pre-existing structure or building it from scratch with new wood. I like the idea of re-using something that has been discarded and it's great to get this old solid wood. 

Next we added hinges.

Now I drilled holes in the bottom about 6 inches apart for drainage and air flow. on the front and sides I drilled just one row of holes.

this is a happy me with my new worm bin! I love that the old cabinet is made of solid wood that is sturdy enough to be a garden bench that can be sat on. I have dreams of painting some cool decoration on it; but for now, I'm going to start cutting up newspaper to fill the inside before adding organic matter and worms.

Thank you, Steve!

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