Create The Easiest Worm Compost Bin (without holes) | Brista Drake | Skillshare

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Create The Easiest Worm Compost Bin (without holes)

teacher avatar Brista Drake

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

5 Lessons (39m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Gather Supplies

    • 3. Starting the Bin

    • 4. Taking Care of the Bin

    • 5. Harvesting the Bin

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About This Class

In this class, I will teach you how to make an indoor compost bin for urban life, specifically how to make a worm compost bin. I keep it as simple as possible, using the most basic material without any hard manual labor.

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Brista Drake


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1. Introduction: Hey guys, Welcome to my class on how to make a sustainable urban compost bin. And I'm using words and this is a worm composting or a vermicomposting. This is an easy level class so anyone can do it. And that's the point of this class because I want as many people contributing to the sustainable lifestyle as possible. So I make it as easy as possible before we begin the process of starting an actual compost bin and how to take care of it and how harvested. I want to first talk about what is a compost bin and why it's so important to have, specially in the cities. As you might know, our planet's not doing so hot. We have about 60 years left of topsoil, which is the soil that we can grow things in. And once that's gone, we really can't grow anything. Meaning we came for food and oxygen is produced by things that grow from the ground. So we won't have oxygen. It's, it's not going to look so good. And the reason why we're running out of top soil is, well, a lot of reasons, but one of them is we're not putting the organic material that we take from the ground back into the ground. What we're doing right now is we're throwing our food scraps in a plastic bag where no one's sorts through those plastic bags that goes straight to the landfill where they create methane gas. You throw a head of lettuce out on your yard. It might call post and returned back into the soil, turn back into soil after a couple of months. But in a landfill ahead, let us takes 25 years to turn back into soil. Meanwhile, it's just making methane gas, which is one of the gases that is heating up our planet rapidly. But it's become a cultural norm to throw your food into a plastic bag and throw it away. And especially in cities where a lot of people live in apartment lease on the second floor, third floor. Fit for that. Don't have any soil whatsoever. They never see the process go full circle. And that is a shame because two-thirds of humans live in the city meeting, about two-thirds of the human population is literally throwing the food scraps into a plastic bag. Alright, so do you want to help me save the planet? You will also take part in this beautiful process called vermicomposting or worm composting. There are also so many people who have just come normally without worms. But honestly, or composting is so much easier. You don't have to do so much to it. In humans sit there for a lifetime, the worms makes all your stuff together. Meanwhile, with a normal compost, the ones without words, they have to turn it every so often and do all this other stuff. And that's just too much for me, honestly. Alright, thank you for watching this intro. I will see you in the next video on what you're going to need. 2. Gather Supplies: Hey guys, welcome to the first video. We are going to discuss what you'll need for a compost bin and a burning composting. So both caucus methods are pretty similar. You need some kind of been. And for vermicompost, specifically, you don't need that big of a thing. This one right here is what I actually started out with. Not because I couldn't afford a bigger than not because I wasn't sure what I was doing. It was more because I live a minimalist lifestyle and I just want everything to be many. So I thought I could have like a little mini weren't open. And honestly it for a long time and I turned a lot of paper and food ways into soil using the small method here. But you might become addicted and this might become more of a hobby then some kind of way to state sustain yourself. So I eventually did make a couple of these. I made another bend just like this. That way I could rotate the food because I was also creating more food waste than one bin like this size can keep up with. So I did create another one. They were toddlers and then one week I would put it in this way when we completely miss one. And that worked for awhile. I like to, I keep expanding, I keep going. But if you want to use something that's small, it will definitely work. If you don't make a lot of food waste. But you can definitely use this size right here. You can maybe put one can of food waste in the sky once a week. You can fit maybe three cans of food waste in one of these guys once a week. This is very easy to practice with as well. So I highly encourage you to start out with something small. If you're not sure this is for you. But if you're ready to just dive on into it, go ahead and get you one of these big ones. And for this class, I'm actually going to using this tube right here to make a new one when there's no right size right container. But I had no problem with confidence state see-through containers either. I dare you to try to find all of the stuff for free, except for the words. Another thing you'll need is a worm package of forms. They range about twenty-five dollars for a 100, which is a good amount to start with. In fact, I don't even see why you start with anything more. Because worms repopulate at a rapid rate right overnight. So I wouldn't even worry about it. And if you're afraid you're going to mess up like the first day that I had one of these bins, I actually killed off half my population because it was too dry inside and all my worms, they crawled out of this top area and link down in these cracks. And now and I woke up in their worms all over the four, it was like, oh no, did I just kill off all my words? But There was a 100 and on fluoride say there was like maybe 60. And somehow I still have all those worms to this day supporting two giant bends from that same generation. So they're very hard to kill. So don't feel intimidated by that. Even if you massively meso, specifically you'll need a red worms. So in nature, there is a layer, a topsoil layer, where breadboards like to hang out and they like to eat the food that falls on top. And then the low they are like roundworms that breakdown older stuff that maybe hasn't touched surface in a while. But you're going to want a red was specifically for this particular project. You will need food scraps. And in the next video I will talk about how to feed them and what they like to eat, and also what they don't want to eat. And then you will need some kind of tree in there, the brown stuff. If you look out in nature on top of that topsoil with the worms in it. You've got to have some kind of natural substance falling back into it, which usually in nature hundreds of years ago. It wasn't just grass, lawns and on grass it was forests and that use a lot of treatments and so trees lens would fall on the ground and over time that will get composting. Unfortunately, in the city there aren't a lot of trees, which is actually really scary. But in the city there is a lot of junk mail. I'm paper free. I don't bring any paper into my nor do I bring any plastic into my abode. But I always get junk mail or maybe I'll be some work someone Mohammed flight or a piece of paper, but I didn't really want it. But then it's too late to get back. You can recycle that stuff. And, you know, that's highly encouraged over throwing it away in a dumpster. Recycling is good. But I actually compost it, which is even better because you're not supporting more cutting down trees. You're not supporting recycling, which takes up a lot more energy than you think you're supporting the process of creating new soil, which again, it really has 60 years let the topsoil. So I, I turn all of my paper scraps and cardboard cargo is a really good one to have two into these little pieces of paper of all the excess moisture in your then but you will get and also is the lens, the treatments, the brown portion of your benefit you will need. You could actually add some tree limbs if you want. But I would add paper that you just don't need anymore and you are going to throw away or you are going to recycle. Just, just to start out with, you will need some kind of dirt as well. This might be hard to find in the city, but i'm I'm sure you can do it good apart and you don't need a lot. Actually. Size, you might just be able to fill up this container right here with dirt and you'll be sent it. I have this plant here. It's dying. I don't think it's going to survive. I'm going to use the dirt that's in here to start off to new compost bin. Any dirt will work in. This amount will be probably good for this size right here. You'll just need a thin later. And that's just to introduce the worms to something that they can be familiar with. I'm sure it's possible to just put food scraps in and paper in and then put the worms in there. But you might just want to give them something that they can relate to. You'll need some kind of n, you'll need some food scraps. You'll need some paper or cardboard or any kind of tree related material, some dirt. The actual worms. If you don't want to use worms, that's fine. You'll just talk to turn over what you have in here on probably a weekly basis. And then there are a couple other tools that I might suggest. I have this garden rake. You can use your hands if i'm I used them for a little bit. Maybe wearing gloves because your stuff the limits on your fingers, the words don't like so you need to use some kind of glove. I would just find a tool like a garden tool or you could use a fork or just something that really easy to just, you know, just kinda mix, right? You don't have to mix this at all every week. You can just check in on the worms or bury the food a little bit. That's all I use this word to. Just bury the food a little bit or check on the worms. So this is a really nice tool to have something, something, but you can kinda look through them with this isn't necessarily a tool. I mean, this is but you'll need some water if the bed gets too dry, I don't think it's going to get you dry the way we're doing it. But sometimes in summer you will need a little bit of word water. And at the beginning of the process you'll need some water so you can use a cup and just kind of pour the water, sprinkle it. I got this glass spray bottle, which is really nice. It's main processes here. You don't need anything fancy like this, then I don't feel like you have to have one. I also use my dogs. I'll throw a Peace Corps world, the floor and their pit bulls. And they love making stuff up, so they tear that thing up for me. So they are little composts as well. While the dogs are working on one giant piece of cardboard and I still got a cut down another piece like a box. I'll use this thing as cutter in a cutting board and I'll just run lines on that. It makes it a lot faster, less strain on your hands and go. This can be tiring, especially for papers kinda thick. It's like you feel like you need an arthritis. I don't know. The I don't feel like you need one of these. Don't feel like you need scissors though. They could help in some situations. And don't feel like you need dogs, even though they are great companions and they do help you tear a bunch of stuff up. So with that said, let's move on to the next video, which is actually starting the bank. All right. See you guys. 3. Starting the Bin: Welcome to video number 2. We are going to start the worm bin. We made it. So the first thing you're gonna wanna do is put dry material at the bottom because you aren't going to get some water. And the more stuff you put at the bottom, the less complicated the process gets. Honestly, worms can survive anything and they would travel up through the dirt and just hang out in the drier areas. They would just avoid the bottom really if it was too wet. So don't worry, you really can't mess this up. Some people drove fancy holes and the bottom and we're not going to worry about that. This is an easy tutorial anyone can do. So I'm going to take this giant amount here. I'm going to pour most of it in there right now. A nice thick layer that will keep the bottom of this dry for a long period of time. We're talking months. That seems good to me. Kind of push them around. Yes. All right. We have a good amount of cardboard. Paper. I don't see a lot of cardboard and here actually, I thought there was more, but that's okay. We have enough down here to soak a lot of the water. In the summertime, just put your bed outside and it will dissolve a lot of the water, evaporate a lot of waters and say, and winter, just try not to feed it as much watery food and always add more paper. We will go more into that in the next couple of videos. But right now we're just doing how to do this. So there you go. That is the first layer you need, which is paper. The second layer is dirt. So the dirt is important to reintroduce the words into something familiar. I'm just going to dump this in here. They will be getting some green leaves as well, which is nice. Excellent, Excellent. You have some dead plants around and you don't know what to do with the dirt or the plant. Turn it into some poems. Slow rate is getting everywhere and less than layer across the whole thing. There we go. I broke this up really nicely. I have a pretty thick layer here. That thick that is a good amount for this size bed. Now I am going to add fixed grips. So what does a worm love? The NAN appeals, pumpkins and rice, and then things that they don't really like. They don't really like meat. Just because if you think of nature, not every day, a dead animal drops on the ground, but almost every day a leaf or a branch or some kind of plant will die and drop on the ground. So you just gotta kinda think about what's natural. But yeah, they don't really like me. They will break it down eventually, but it's very slow process. They don't like Literacy stuff. And just because it's strong, but eventually they will break, break it down. I don't have any been nanocubes, I don't think. But my neighbor gave me a pumpkin and she wants me to use it in my composition. So I'm gonna get that real quick. All right, here we go. It already started decomposing a little bit, which is fine. Yes, this will be good for the words. I am now going to add 25 worms to not bend just to prove that you really don't need that many worms. And this is a very healthy band, as you can tell. I don't have to worry about depleting this one. So here we go. I'm going to add 25 ones from my first original one. Then I am going to spray this down because one thing that they absolutely hate is too dry of soil. So there's a third kind of fields muddy because, I mean, look at they're coming from that's pretty wet. And here's what they gotta get used to. So I would spray it down, especially that top layer there. And if you could make sure the worms are actually in the jury, because that will help them. So, ooh, this pumpkins cold to me, probably don't like that. I went down the soil. They're not really moving a lot, which always seem scary, but just believe in the process. There's one trying to escape. They will crawl up the sides. That's I'm just trying to escape. You can't stop that though. Always do that. And I'm going to put paper on top of this. So when it does get wet and soaked up, it will have something to soak it up with another generous amount of paper on top of there. Okay. And if you want, you could also what got a little bit. I know it seems kinda counter-productive since this is supposed to soak up any excess liquid. But right now the bin is brand new. It's kinda drive, so a little bit of extra moisture isn't going to hurt anyone. Okay. All right. Some people they put air vents in the word for worms like they'll put little dots. I don't do that to any of my bins. They don't have a problem breathing. I also, they like to escape. They really do, especially at the beginning when they're not familiar with the band. And so those little holes I feel like they would escape out of and I don't want another colossal extinction of a words. No, sir. And that's really all I do. So just to recap, the first thing I did was I got a bend and then I put paper, a lot of paper down at the bottom to soak up all the water that will come in due time. Then I put a small layer of dirt so the worms have something to run around in that is familiar to them. I put the worms in or you can put the food in first, it doesn't matter. I've put the food in, which was a pumpkin, and then I put my worms in. And if you want, you could actually put a piece of cardboard over top of that. I put more paper on top of mine. Just because the pumpkin might create a lot of liquid. You will put paper on top, and then on top of that you could also put a piece of cardboard. So as you can see, I had a piece of cardboard on top of my paper in the other one. I guys, that is how to make a worm compost bin. And then in the next video, I am going to show you how to maintain the composition using three different kinds of compost at different stages. All right, thanks guys. 4. Taking Care of the Bin: Welcome to Video 3. In the first video, I explained what you'll need for woman. And the second video I showed you how to start a worm bins, one right here. And in this video, I'm going to show you how to maintain a work that is specifically three different stages of a worm bin. The beginning stages, that middle stage where it's half paper and organic material, half dirt. And then in the final stage where it's really close to being just completely dirt. So I'm going to open up each of these, starting with the one we started last week. And I'm going to show you how I treat certain environments inside these forward bends based on how far along they are. All right, let's jump in. All right, let's open up the first spin, which is the one that we started in the last video. So this is a week and like three days old now, the first thing you probably notice are the mats. This is a problem that can be solved. Basically, you put a lot more paper in to absorb the moisture because that's what gnats like. They like moisture. If it's not a big problem for you, if you're not bothered by the bugs, then don't worry about it. They're all just going to go back in here after I close a backup. They also kind of help break down the material in here, which is nice. So it's just another decomposer, which is the point of this whole process and no piece of soil out in nature only has one type of bug in it. And that is something I wanted to address. There will be other bugs possibly in your Ben. Gnats are very common. There's also tiny little white bugs, like really small and they are mites. And those are almost unavoidable in any ban and they don't do anything, then that's our kind of annoying. So just print more paper in the moment you start getting a buildup of them. And then I also get these soldier flies. So the larva is like this big black. My neighbor has lizards. So I actually pick those out and given to her because they're pretty expensive to feed the lizards. So this kinda helps her. Okay, so in any other situation, if you want to get rid of bugs, bugs, you have to put more paper in it so it's not so moist for sure. The first thing I smell is just kinda like fresh Earth. It doesn't really have a smell to it. Unless it's like the smell right after a rainfall, it's actually kind of pleasant on you cannot smell these bends when they are closed up for sure. Okay. Now, looking inside, I see the pumpkin. It actually looks a lot smaller than I remember. So I'm sure the worms have gotten at it. Yeah, I don't like this is all that's left of the pumpkin. Wow. So I usually look at how much food is left in the bend before I make a decision whether or not I want to add more food. I also want to show you guys the worms. Let's find some worms because I only put 24 or 25 in here. And I want to prove that only having 25. Can make a whole warm. Then there we go. There's a worm right there. So they are in here. It's looking actually still pretty dry, even though the Ben itself was moist, the band must be soaking up like the water. It must be getting on the walls and it's taking it all out of here. So I'm definitely going to spray it down. But because it needs moisture, I can actually feed it more food. So I'm going to put more food in here. And then I will put more paper on top of that because of the mats. All right, So here is about what I want to add. I have some onions in their son, bell peppers. I'm just going to add it right where it's super dry, which is in the middle, pretty much. There is some liquid in there, cannot 2, so that will help. Some apples. Yep. After I put the food in, I will cover it up a little bit with this. Not too much. And leaves, I guess. Sorry. Okay. And then I am going to put on your paper on top. It's always a good idea to have an excess amount of paper just sitting around. I'm always adding to the collection. Just so if I ever want to feed my worm bins and I need more paper, I will have it on hand. Okay. Now it looks like a good, generous amount. So that is what I did in the spin insensate got a little dry after a week. I'm going to go ahead and spray that down the top once more just to prevent it from drying out. It did seem a little dry and that can be bad. Like I should have probably one of the worst things that can happen, which is drying out. I'd rather do too moist then to dry, because once it's too dry, the worms, they actually dehydrate and then they die. And there wasn't a lot of worms in here when we first looked in there, I saw one worms, so that's kinda scary. I went ahead and put like 12, 20 more from the spin in here. But that just shows, don't make your bin to dry and it's better to be safe than sorry. Okay. Now we are going to move on to the Ben, that is a halfway point between paper and dirt. So let's move on to this 1, 0, 0 there. So this is a nice moist bend. You can see it on the walls. There are some bugs coming out, but not a lot. That's probably because I covered it up with a piece of cardboard. That really also helps keeps the gnats out. And look, we have some vegetation that makes me feel really good because when a bin is vegetating, that means that the soil in here that's really healthy or soil that's really healthy as being made in the spin. So super excited about that. And when stuff gets stuck on the wall like this, that was definitely not on the wall before. That means a worm, couple of worms brought this up. So they're traveling on the walls as you can see, which is great, that's what we want. Lots of activity. Okay, so let's take this up and out. And take a look inside. So lots of paper. Let's look for food first. See how much food is in hearing how much you think we need to add. Lots of dirt. I see an avocado show, but that's not enough for sure. Ok, there's a worm right there. Good. Okay. Canada, keep looking around here. You don't have to sort through this whole thing. Every time. In fact, you're kinda messing up their environment when you do so. But I will, I did see one worm, I'll be satisfied if I see a couple more. So as I dig deeper into the dirt, it's starting to dry, so I want to make sure it doesn't get too dry. So I'll probably definitely add it to this one because I'm also not seeing any food really. Okay. I think I see an onion. There's some ginger. The worms also like to hide in corners and super-duper, probably even under the paper layer of sitting under here. They're kind of sneaky like that. Oh, there's a baby worm. I don't know if you can see that. Do you see him moving, squirming around right there? Maybe. Okay. So there is a baby which is good. That means we've got different generations in here. There's another worm, possibly another one right there. Oh, there's one crawling out of paper. Okay. So as you can see, there is some, oh, there we go. Activity in here with the worms. A good population. I'm not going to mess with it anymore. I am going to add food. Let me go get some. I do believe I fed the spin last week and that was the stuff over here. Though, they must eat it really quickly. But that onion I probably put in there last week. So it's been a little bit. And I'm going to give them this. I don't know what kind of green it is, but it's bad now, kind of smell. So I'm going to just give all this to them. And worms actually like to work together when they break down food. So you can actually put it in one big pile somewhere and they'll like that a lot. Instead of spreading it out all over the place that they can work together and break it down. There's just so much of it. I can't really prevent it from going everywhere, but Yes, they can definitely eat this and there's a lot of it. So it should bring more moisture into the bin. And I will I'm not going to cover it up too much because it's just leafy greens and the maps don't go crazy for the leafy greens. So I'm just going to put some more paper to the little bit on top what I have left and I'm going to put the cardboard back on top. I don't have to spray this down because I think it's going to be pretty okay how it is. All right. And that's how you do with a medium-sized been like this. Now, I'm going to show you what to do with a mature urban. All right, I did already open this guy up, but there were not any bugs flying out, which is great. There were actually a bunch of worms all over this. Those are the ones I've put in the other band. That there are still some worms crawling around. This is a very active been. So I have not fed this ban in because it's so moist. I'd say two or three weeks. If I tried to pick it up. It's very heavy. And all of this black gold, this is the soil that we want to get to eventually. This all right here. Perfect, perfect compost material right there. What you do at this point, if it is too heavy to pick up, just remember that's how heavy it's going to be when it's all done too. So I'm actually going to say that we are done feeding the spin. It is in its final stage. When you say that you are done feeding the spin, that means you are not going to add anymore paper products, anymore, food, leftover veggie products, nothing. You're not going to add anything to it because whatever you add is just going to make it more heavy, heavier, I should say. So. Let me lift it up. Let me show you there are subnets crown on his bottom. But I will put this over here. See some worms, they're very, they're in their mating season because a lot of the ones we're on that lid right on top of each other like that. So they're definitely ready to reproduce, which is great. It's very compact. It three weeks ago when I added stuff, I'd say it was up to like here. So this is great to see this. At this point. Going to maybe on a bi-weekly basis, going to mix all the contents together. Now in a normal compost bin, look at all those harms. All I do is just pull this up. I'm sorry, this is just beautiful to me. In a normal conquest Ben, without worms, you will need to mix your BATNA maybe two times a week, maybe once a week. But with a worm compost thing, you don't have to mix anything the whole time until I'd say this very end part when you are done feeding the bend. So now that I'm done feeding the band, I want to help the worms break everything down. I don't want all this paper stuff at the top. So I am going to maybe on a bi-weekly basis, I'm going to mix up the whole Ben. So I just want to bring the stuff on top to the bottom and the stuff on bottom to the top get all the paper mixed around. And since I'm not adding any more food, really, there shouldn't be any moisture being added to the man. I am trying to in a way, Dr. been out. So this dirt, this black gold will eventually turn a lighter color. Just slightly. It will be more, it'll feel more like a I don't want to say sand, but it will be just fall through your hands a little bit easier. There is a lot of food products that are still in here so they're not going to starve or anything. I would never be worried about that if it's at this stage. I am going to mix it around. Sometimes if you pull something up ancient at the bottom, it does give off a little bit of an odor, but it's not too bad. But yeah, I'm going to mix everything up, gets the bottom to the top and the top to the bottom. And once I have it all mixed up and I feel confident with my mix, the worms will then be able to work through dirt, paper, what's left of food for the next two weeks. And in two weeks I will do the same thing again and I'll just keep doing it and doing it. And until it's time to harvest. Which in our last video we will be harvesting this. Ben and I will show you how I do that. The can I just say, look at all these worms. I'm so proud of it. That's how, you know, you have a mature then. So okay. So we have lots of food down near the bottom. So that's where I'm going to mix it all up. So I'm going to do the rest of this mixing off-camera. Thank you for watching this video and I will see you in the next video to take this all out. 5. Harvesting the Bin: Hey guys, welcome to video 4. In this video, we are going to harvest my mature were men and get all the nutritious fertilizer soil out of it. And I can use for the seed starting season coming up in a week or so. So let's get started. So before I harvested my worms, about a week before I decided to move all my worms to one side of the bins so I didn't have to sort through them or mess with them that much. To do that, I put a bunch of food on one side of the Ben. This included a lot of table scraps I had and a bunch yellow squash I had sitting around that I wasn't going to use. So I decided to use it for this purpose. I also let the bin air dry. I kept the bin open and not a lot of bugs showed up. And I also put us a very thin piece of cardboard on top with holes in it just to make sure the bugs didn't get to it. Finally, it is time to harvest. So my daughter was a little wet and that's just because it's winter. I can't put it outside to dry quickly. And also I didn't have holes in my been a lot of people do put holes in there been to drain out the bottom. I didn't because I want to use this Ben for all sorts of things and putting holes in the bottom wouldn't help me do that. So I'm doing it this way. All I'm doing is taking all the dirt out of the ban and laying it on this cardboard to dry overnight. And then I have beautiful dirt to work with. This is actually your final projects. So please take a picture of the dirt you create for your project and share it with the class. Thank you guys for watching this class. I hope you have fun sorting through your dirt to grab some family members, some friends, and make it a team effort. I'll see you real soon with another video.