Going Green: City Composting & the Worm Bin

We try and keep things as sustainable as possible around here, so a while back we began to look at composting options.

Bonus of composting? Great garden soil and the perfect way to ‘recycle’ our kitchen scraps (to keep them out of plastic bags in landfills). Cons of composting? The smell. Phew. The bacteria and other microorganisms that team up with oxygen to create that ‘black gold’ soil can be nauseating, and since our yard is small we don’t really have the space for a big compost pile in the back.

The solution? A worm bin! Worms break down a majority of kitchen waste (things like coffee grounds, old bread and pastas, grains, fruit – not citrus, egg shells & veggie scraps) and create a soil that is just delicious to plants. Creating our worm bin out of a big plastic tub was easy, read all about how to do it here. We even bought our worms locally from a Craigslist worm farm (yep, those exist too).

Kind of a gross image, I know. We regularly load this guy up with anything that we can’t toss to our city chickens (who LOVE kitchen scraps and even gift us with eggs once a day for it). We keep the bin (which really isn’t too big) in an outdoor shed along the side of our house. The ideal temp is between 50-75 degrees F, so those that live where it’s cold or super hot might try the garage.

This is the indoor compost bin we keep right under our kitchen sink. It’s the perfect size (about a gallon) and the filter built into the lid ensures that zero smells escape. Twice a week or so it’s emptied into the worm bin.

And then after about two months of worm composting, you get ‘worm tea’. This black liquid can be drained out and poured around the base of garden plants (or mixed into the soil of potted plants) and will nourish, nourish, nourish. Very soon our garden started offering up gifts of its own.

It’s neat to see our food run full circle! Before you know it, we’ll be tossing the left over garden basil and tomato scraps from our next meal back into the worm bin. And there you have it, an easy solution to city composting.

More Going Green ideas can be found right here.

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  1. says

    Great info on composting – it’s one of those things I’ve thought about doing for some time, but just haven’t gotten around to actually doing it!
    Gotta love the ‘circle of life’. Everything that goes around really does come around! ;)
    Your veggie garden looks great.

  2. says

    Well, I know I meant to post a comment on this when I read it last week! Hmm. Anyway. Thanks for the tip on the worm bin. The husband and I keep bemoaning the fact that we throw away so much food trash that could be used to make our yard look nicer. I’ll definitely have to look into the indoor compost bin too. Great tips!

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