Worm farms, Hungry Bins, Bokashi Bins and how to make cold compost

you'll be surprised how much organic waste you have once you start growing your own veges

One of the wonderful things about nature is that it’s cyclical. We put seeds and seedlings into our garden, they grow, we harvest and eat them, and with the peelings and left over leaves and stalks from the veges and fruit we can create nutrients to enrich the soil for the next crop.

If making hot compost is not your thing, or you have a small household, there are a few other options for dealing with your kitchen scraps.

1 There are worm farms for small amounts of waste and Hungry Bins (big worm farms) for larger amounts of waste. You can’t put onions or citrus or any kind of meat in these but that’s better than putting organic material down the wastemaster or in your rubbish bin. The resulting matter is all broken down and can be used anywhere, and of course there’s worm tea as well. Dilute it down until it has the appearance of weak black tea.

2 Then there are Bokashi bins which take everything, even meat. This is because the additive ferments or pickles the waste material. There are no rotting smells as the waste breaks down (this continues even when you add it to Cold Compost). Food scraps are ready to move on to the next stage after 5-7 days in a Bokashi bin. Bokashi bins make liquid too which needs to be diluted around 100 parts to one before applying.

If you’re not making compost with the fermented material in your Bokashi bins, you’ll need to trench it directly into your garden. Adding a bit of lime before closing over the trench helps the material decompose and lessens any rotting smells. You can trench scraps directly from the kitchen into your garden as well.

3 Then there’s a thing we call Cold Compost. It suits households which have more rubbish than a worm farm or Hungry Bin can cope with, but less space than what you need to make Hot Compost. There are no real rules of what you can add to your Cold Compost or when you can add them. You just layer them as you need to get rid of waste, although it’s best to use the same principle as Hot Compost which is carbon, nitrogen, activators, and decomposing compost from another bin. The addition of a handful of garden lime moves things along too. And as with hot compost, it’s best to finish your cold compost with some water.

Cold Compost can take up to 6 months to fully break down because it doesn’t reach the temperatures Hot Compost does.

Camera/Editor: Ollie Logan

see the video on How to make Liquid Fertiliser and Black Gold next