Wednesday, 27 February 2008


Picture courtesy Stoke Worms

No, I haven’t gone and contracted a bout of worms, I’ve bought a wormery. So now I’m going to start vermicomposting.

Basically, a wormery is made up of a base unit on which several deep trays sit, topped with a lid. You start filling the first tray with peelings, old fruit and veg, left over cooked food (but not meat or anything spicy or salty), old tissues and kitchen roll, shredded newspaper, bits of moistened cardboard, tea bags, coffee grounds, pasta, cereal, bread, cake, biscuits, hair (both human and animal) and even the contents of your vacuum cleaner bag. The only things you can’t put in (and we’re talking organic matter here, obviously) are citrus fruit and peelings, onions and anything that’s spicy, salty or has vinegar on. Oh, and poo, unless it's from a herbivore! That’s still a lot of stuff that would otherwise be chucked out with the rubbish that’s then turned into compost and plant food instead.

The worms live in the tray that you’re ‘feeding’ at the time and as they munch their way through it, it comes out of the other end as worm casts which is a nutrient rich compost. What’s more, because you need to keep everything moist (not soaking wet – you don’t want to drown the worms), the moisture seeps through and gathers in the bottom compartment as fertiliser. There’s a tap on the front so getting it out isn’t a problem and apparently it’s excellent for both indoor and outdoor plants.

I bought mine from this eBay seller at the bargain price of £30 including P&P. He also has a website here. They come in different sizes and styles from the smallest that are suitable for one person to huge ones for big families. I have a 60 litre version which, I’m told, is appropriate for my needs. It even comes complete with dendrobaena worms, worm food and their bedding so they'll be nice and comfy as they get used to their new environment.

I have a composter but I never use it because it’s at the end of the garden and I really don’t like having to walk through mud to get to it. It also breaks down veeeeery slowly so is mostly full up. The wormery, however, is now sited on a round table that was otherwise doing nothing, right beside my back door. I have an empty ice-cream pot (big 3 litre one) standing on the worktop that I shall put peelings etc in during the day and then every evening I’ll empty it into the wormery. Easy peasy!

Because they’re odour free (so I’m told – I’ll come back to this subject once mine’s been running a while), even those living in flats could have one as long as they have a balcony. And I believe there are even indoor types available, although I haven’t looked for them.

Hopefully I’ll see a decrease in the amount of rubbish that goes into the bin now and I should soon have some lovely compost to use in my pots and fertiliser to feed the plants with. Can’t go wrong really, can I? Or can I? I’ll let you know how it goes.

Sharon J xx


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donna said...

good luck with the wormery, i'll be interested to hear how you get on with it.

Sharon J said...

Hi Donna.

I shall be posting updates so "watch this space" :)

happyhippychick said...

I would love a wormery... and a compost bin too

Just found out I have an offer of an allotment, just got decide whether to go ahead now. I'd love to have a more simple life (like you are doing... is there something in the air lately?) and also to grow my own veg, but it's a big commitment to take on a whole allotment, I'll have to have a good think about this!

If I do go ahead I'll get a wormery too and we can compare wormy notes!


Sharon J said...

A friend of mine had an allotment and both her and her OH were very dedicated but they had to throw in the towel this year as the commitment was just too much for them so this year they’re planning to dig up the flowers from their garden, move them to her mum’s garden and grow fruit and veg out there instead.

If you do go ahead then you’ll no doubt find it’ll take up a huge amount of your time and whether or not you can handle that depends on what else you have on your agenda and how important home grown fresh, organic fruit and veg are to you.

Do you have a garden now at all? If you do, or even a balcony, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t have a wormery. Mine takes hardly any room at all and from what I understand, you’re part of a two person household, aren’t you? If I’m right, the small one would be fine.

Let me know if you do get one. I’d love to hear how you get on with it.