During these peculiar times; bars and hotels are closed to decrease the chance of people being in close contact, but there is at least one hotel that remains open: the worm hotel from Urban Compost.
The wooden box at our terrace is an all-inclusive hotel for the worms that grow inside. To reduce waste and be able to give back to nature a part of our food and plant remains are given to inhabitants of the hotel so they have a nice buffet to choose from. In turn, the worms make better more fertile soil inside that you can use for your plants! Win-win situation right?
How does it work?
Worm composting is a way to use worms to recycle food scraps and organic material into valuable, rich soil called vermicompost (aka worm compost). Worms eat the food scraps and organic material and as they pass through the worms body it becomes compost which exits through the tail-end of the worm. This compost is great for plants because it’s nutrient rich through the process of composting. Click here for more information about this process.
What do they eat?
Worms in a wormhotel have a strict diet so they can produce the best compost in happy circumstances. This diet consists of food and plant remains like the skin of fruits and vegetables, cores of fruit, raw fruits and vegetables, grains, coffee grounds, teabags and ground yard scraps.
What don’t they eat?
To make sure your wormhotel does not stink it must have a nice balance of organic and wooden materials like paper and cardboard. There are also things that must not be fed to the worms to ensure their health. These things include cooked meals, bread, onion, lemon/lime and pepper. Limonene, a substance found in lemon (scraps) can even be toxic to worms.
The compost produced by these worms makes for great food for your plants and helps them grow. Many farmers use this technique to boost their harvest. Not only the farmers use this process to ensure better quality of growth of their products but also in big cities the importance of these hotels is known. 75 of these wormhotels have been placed in different parts all across Amsterdam. These hotels each contain roughly about 1000 worms to help the neighborhood. These neighborhood wormhotels are harvested twice a year of which the compost is divided under the people involved. Take a look, if you want to join this initiative. And of course once a while, we love to keep our hotel clean.
DIY Worm Hotel
To make your own worm hotel you need:
A bucket or your own build wooden box.
Dry cardboard (egg shell cartons, toiletroles) or paper.
Food scraps or organic material from the aforementioned list. (Check: What do they eat?)
Worms are living creatures, air holes are a must to keep them happy (and breathing).
Only two types of worms are used for composting: Tiger worms (Eisena fetida) and Manure worms (Lumbricus rubellis) which you can even order online. At te start you’ll need to buy a good amount of worms as a starting base. These worms will reproduce as time goes on.
TIP: The worms can’t be in direct sunlight and need to have an abundance of shade. During the winter some bubble wrap on the surface can help isolate the heat in the soil so the worms don’t freeze. TIP: To make sure your wormhotel does not stink it must have a nice balance of organic and wooden materials like paper and cardboard.
So basically, it’s like having your own compost machine, while having some slippery pets at the same time. This machine reduces waste, gives you a cool new hobby and helps your plants grow. What are you waiting for?