permaculture worm bin worm tower compost | Permaculture Thailand

Rak Tamachat Permaculture Education Center in Thailand

Did you know that worms can eat ½ of their body weight every day and convert organic material in one of the best amendments available: worm castings? Furthermore, while digging and devouring the soil they decompact it which give space for air to be, and so helps life to thrive. That s why we decided to start growing worms at Rak Tamachat.

This simple worm bin is built from a barrel cut on the side and covered with an old recycled board of wood. Holes are drilled in the bottom to collect the cast and prevent an excess of moisture. We located the bin next to the kitchen window and set up a pulley system so we can throw the food scraps directly from the kitchen to th worms. Also we added a net overlapping to prevent flies and a shade clothe for heat.

This worm bin is a nursery for the worms. The idea is to collect the cast they produce (a very strong natural fertilizer) and to let them happily reproduce there. In ideal conditions the population is doubling every second month. When the population is high enough, we relocate part of them in a worm tower.

The principle of the worm tower is the following:

A wide cylinder of plastic (or metal) dug 40cm deep in the middle of the garden. On the part of the cylinder below the ground, holes are regularly drilled, wide enough to allow the worms to go through. The cylinder that is above the surface of the ground has to be covered to protect from the rain and sun. In the bottom we put cow manure and straw which the worms enjoy. After 3 days we can put the worms inside the worm tower. The worms will then feed themselves in that cylinder and go explore around decompacting  and fertilizing the soil all around.

This system is very easy to implement, cheap, require very low maintenance and give an efficient way for food scraps valorization.