I’ve always had an unnatural attraction to worms, microbes and fungi.
Earthworms are the strong, silent type. They’re that enduring romance which crept up on you from the friendzone to become your soulmate for life. Tiger worms are that hot and firey fling. Hungry and ravenous, devouring everything in their paths and reproducing at the soonest sniff at an overripe avocado. Microbes take the sex analogy to an exponential level, turning your otherwise innocent compost into an orgy of binary fission to a factor in the billions. Fungi is that tantric yogi with the silver ponytail. Stretching itself into the craziest shapes and communicating with the universe through delicate strands of conscious mycelium.
On a more practical level, without earthworms filtering and aerating our soils the earths crust could not support life. Without the microbes in my compost, what I manage to grow at the beach would be impossible and the rubbish bill would be out of control if it weren’t for the tiger worms in my worm bin.
As a waste management tool you can’t get any better than processing your biodegradable waste at home. It might contradict the idea of the Why Waste compost collection, but it’s true. Whether a good old compost heap satisfies all your needs, or you might prefer the more compact-but-less complicated option of a worm farm will. Maybe you eat a lot of meat and need to adopt the Japanese method of Bokashi fermentation, which gets through bones in a matter of days.
On Monday I presented these solutions at Creative Tauranga Charitable Trust to a curious few who braved cyclone Pam to come to the Sustainable Backyards workshop.
We went over the different types of composting and vermi-composting, fermentation and digestion of biodegradable waste. Speaking from my own discovery of these extremely efficient solutions, I aimed to inspire as opposed to outright educate. Making sure we covered the environmental and economic benefits and pitfalls of each option, I really wanted to present the workshop in respect of the time pressures and financial confines we all live with. Using different worm bins I have as demonstrations, we went over vermicasting options – from the cheap but not ideal worms-r-us stacker bin ($100 without worms from Bunnings) option through to the Rolls Royce of worm farms, the continuous flow Hungry Bin ($320 or $340 with worms through whywaste.co.nz). I feel as though attendees took away a sound understanding of composting and worm farming (otherwise known as vermi-composting) and a good idea on how to set these up at home for as cheap as possible.
Thanks to Creative Tauranga for hosting the workshop, and also for supporting creativity in the Bay of Plenty. Creativity and sustainability go hand in hand and I am extremely passionate about both.