News You Can Use: Worm Composting Bin

By: Malika Dudley

MAKAKILO, Oahu (HawaiiNewsNow) - Reduce waste, reduce the smell of waste and make nutrient rich soil. You can do all of these things with one simple tool. The worm composting bin. Zac Johnson owns Zac's Rabbitry out in Ewa he says "One handful of worms started me on my way. Within a year I was selling worms."

At Zac's Rabbitry green waste is fed to rabbits and rabbit manure goes into the worm bin. "We're diverting a lot of our rubbish back into the soil by creating the worm beds. Anything that breaks down can go into a worm bin and the worms just devour things," said Zac.

Cardboard, oranges and if you've got a good "colony" of worms even meat waste. Benefits include also reducing the smell of animal poop and other waste that would have otherwise ended up in the trash. "Our rubbish is only picked up once a week now, so your banana peels your fruit waste will start to smell so instead of putting it into the gray bin you put it into a worm bin. Dog waste is another one, we don't recommend it for your food production, but to get rid of your dog waste," said Zac.

It costs about 40 bucks for 4 ounces of worms, enough to get you started. In the tropics, it's the perionyx excavatus or blue worm. While they use the red worm, eisenia fetida in colder climates. Zac says it doesn't need to be expensive. "You have to use whatever is handy, you don't have to buy the 100 dollar model, you can use 55 gallon drums which I use over there and that makes a nice worm bin," he explains.

Zac starts with cardboard which helps to aerate the bin and keep the conditions from becoming anaerobic. "Here's some waste from the rabbit tree," he says while adding waste to the bin. He covers that with wood shavings and mulch, which help to keep the flies at bay. Add the worms, and keep them damp and dark.

Zac recommends emptying your worm bin every three months. The worm castings are then screened and you're left with... "The finished product looks like coffee, it's very rich and the price is almost like Kona coffee. But the real benefit of worm poop is it's microorganism power, it's living organisms that help break down and feed the plants. It's your fertilizer and almost your pesticide in one," said Zac. That rich soil can then be used on your plants to make sure your garden flourishes.

Click HERE for a link to Zac's Rabbitry / Ewa Blue Worms.

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