The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Worms in permaculture

Creating an outdoor worm bin.Worms are one of our newer permaculture additions to the farm.  Just like chicken tractors, worm bins add animals and fertility back to the garden ecosystem in a controlled manner.  You can read about our experiments with an indoor worm bin here.

Last week, I decided it was time to move our worms to larger quarters outdoors.  Although we'd been planning on trying an outdoor worm bin eventually, the move was mostly the result of a mistake I made.  All winter, I kept the bin healthy by feeding the worms solely on Mark's tea bags.  But a month or so ago I started cleaning out our winter stores, throwing in a lot of rotting sweet potatoes and nasty frozen peaches.  It was way too much food all at once (and too wet because of the peaches), so we ended up with a fruit fly paradise.

When we have time, we'll probably make a more professional outdoor worm bin, but for now I put a quick one together in an afternoon.  I placed a few cinderblocks in a rectangle to form a basic perimeter, spread my current worm bin contents over the ground in the center, and topped it all off with a load of grass clippings from the mulching lawnmower.  It's essential that worms stay cool and damp, so I put the outdoor bin in the shade behind the trailer where it also gets runoff from the roof.  In a few weeks, I'll give you an update on how our exterior bin is doing!

This post is part of our Permaculture lunchtime series.  Read all of the entries:

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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