Food Waste Fun
Make use of your daily food scraps and have a fun learning experience at the same time! Keep a worm bin!
For folks with families learning to garden, October can be puzzling. The weather is starting to turn cold, wet and grey again, making long periods of time outside seem less enticing. Visually, the vegetable garden appears to have less going on. However, October is a great time to begin composting your kitchen waste!
There are many methods and devices that you can employ to compost your food waste at home, but for the gardening family, none offers more fun and excitement than a worm bin.
Unlike other popular food waste composting methods such as digestion, burial or tossing your scraps in your curbside collection bin, worm bins allow decomposition to happen above ground. All the biological processes and fauna of composting can be easily observed in a worm bin. And the vermicompost that a worm bin produces is practically ambrosia for houseplants or seeds in need of a starting medium, but that is another story.
There are also many varieties of worm bins on the market and plans available online. One challenge many families face is ensuring that their worm bin will be able to accommodate all the food waste they generate. This is a great educational opportunity for a mini “waste audit.”
A worm bin under construction.
Simply collect all organic scraps that your family generates and separate it from the rest of the waste for one week. A few quart sized yogurt containers with lids in the refrigerator marked with big “Xs” on them is a good way to store the goods. Once collected, weigh it out. The golden rule for worm bin processing is 1 lb of food waste per 1 square foot of container per 1 week. So, if your family generates 12 lbs of food waste in a week, you’ll need a bin that has a floor plan of 12 square feet.
A homemade food digester.
You can construct multiple bins to meet your needs or put some of your food scraps in your worm bin and the rest in your curbside collection bin. Both approaches are good for the environment.
Food Waste Bins:
Contact our Garden Hotline for more information or to get custom answers to your specific questions, (206) 633-0224. Get more information on organic gardening topics in Seattle Tilth's "Maritime NW Garden Guide" or ”Your Farm in the City.” Check out our list of classes.
An "Off-the-Shelf" worm bin.