Instructables

Compost at lightning speed with a bucket worm farm!

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Using worms to eat your food scraps is a great way to make use of almost all of your food.  Red wigglers seem to work the best since they're so active.  One pound of worms can eat up to half a pound of food per day!

In this instructable I will show you how to create a slick looking worm bin which will fit under your kitchen sink.

QUICK UPDATE:  After over a year, the dudes are still going strong!  This design totally works great.

 
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Step 1: Stuff you'll need!

The materials for the worm farm can run you anywhere from $0 to $20, however you can find most of the materials in garbage piles if you wish.

You will need
  1. 2 Buckets - They should be 5 gallon, but I've used 2 x 2.5-3 gallon buckets.  I don't yet know if this will work with buckets this small.  Check your local bakery for free ones that they're throwing away.  I tried that but ended up having to buy a couple cheap plastic garbage cans.
  2. 1 Shopping Tote - This needs to be polyester because if it's cotton, the worms will eat through it.
  3. A newspaper and/or plain cardboard - A regular newspaper will do.  Don't use the glossy type.  Strip anything non cardboard (like tape) off the cardboard.
  4. Some water
  5. Some method of drilling or puncturing holes in the buckets - a drill, knife, hammer, force of will, etc.
  6. A small amount of leaves and grass clippings
  7. Worms - I'd start small with a half a pound (500 or so) and if you need more, get more after
Awesome! Have you had any issues with smell at all?
calskin (author)  jessyratfink2 years ago
No, none at all. Just like fegundez1 mentioned, as long as you don't overfeed your worms and chop your food up well, it just smells like good healthy earth. Nothing unpleasent at all. And since mine is under the sink, I can't smell a thing. I actually have to put my nose right in the bucket to smell anything now that I think about it.
fegundez12 years ago
you wont have any smells so long as you use organic (leaves etc) don't put any citrus or anything that has been exposed to poisons. Your worms eat the bacteria that eat the stuff you put in so chop it up really well. another thing I do is to freeze all my worm food overnight at least this kills any fly eggs that may have been deposited when you weren't watching.
calskin (author)  fegundez12 years ago
That is a very good point and something I forgot to mention about the citrus. Thanks for bringing that up.

I made an addition to the worm pale to address other bugs after I wrote this. I noticed some spiders in there which may not be a bad thing, but I didn't want a bunch running around our apartment so I put in a sticky fly trap thing. This will also take care of fruit flies and the worms don't seem to care about it at all either as none have been stuck to it.

It's also a good point you made about chopping up the food. I forgot to mention that also.

Thanks for your comments.
Gabeuse8 months ago

I also heard that we should not give onion/garlics to the worms, what is your opinion?

i under stand the leaves and grass help with the smell but everytime you add something do you have to pick up the leaves and put the new stuff below or throw it right on top. if you throw it on top, do you have to add more leaves
dynamozoe1 year ago
If you drill through both buckets then how do you keep the water from spilling onto the floor?
smw24202 years ago
How to you remove the finished compost from the bucket?
calskin (author)  smw24202 years ago
I would suggest the dump and sort method.

Dump the entire contents of your worm bin down onto a table (you may want to protect the table with a sheet of plastic first.) Put a light bulb above the table so the worms dig down (or use natural light.) Now remove any very fresh-looking bedding, and toss it back into the worm bin for the next go-round.

Then, make many small mounds of vermicompost. Watch and you'll see the worms move downward, away from light, and bury themselves in the bedding. After a few minutes, you can remove the outer layer of this mound, and put it in your vermicompost bucket. Again the worms will move downward. Just continue like this until you have many little piles of worms.
rimar20002 years ago
This is very interesting, thanks for sharing it.
calskin (author)  rimar20002 years ago
Thanks for reading it. Seriously, this being my first instructable I'm just glad people read it!