Worm farms in our Sustainable Backyard

Our  Sustainable Backyard near the cafe, demonstrates how you can set up your backyard to grow some food, keep chickens and turn organic household waste into a valuable resource for your garden.

The Sustainable Backyard contains three examples of different worm farming systems which can be easily integrated into a household garden. There is a Reln worm factory, a bath tub worm farm and a worm tower.

A common query we receive is "which system is best for me - a worm farm or a compost bin?" Each situation is different and the right system depends a lot on the amount of organic waste generated by your household.

A worm farm is perfect for someone living in a unit and generating a small amount of organic waste, whereas for a larger household with a garden, two compost bins and a worm farm may be required.

A worm factory would suit a balcony or courtyard. Small amounts of kitchen scraps and other organic matter such as leaves and paper can be eaten by compost worms which live and breed within the black plastic stack of trays.

Worms produce a beautiful liquid fertiliser often referred to as 'worm tea'. This liquid is a combination of worm 'wee' and leachate from the matter being broken down in the farm. This fertiliser can be watered down and applied to house and garden plants.

In addition, worms produce vermicast, which is their faeces and often referred to as 'castings'. This material can be added to garden beds or pots to enrich soil life. It is ‘gold’ to gardeners.

The other important thing compost worms produce is more compost  worms.  Under ideal conditions, worms in a worm farm will double their numbers approximately every 60 days. They will self-regulate breeding to suit the particular situation.

Other methods of worm farming best suited to the home gardener are larger systems which can easily be set up in a bath tub and a much smaller worm tower which is set up directly within garden beds. 

There is some great information on building a sustainable garden at Sustainable Gardening Australia.  If you are interested in finding out more about setting up a worm farm, keep an eye out for Natural Soil Improvement workshops which can be found on our events calendar