Compost Worm Tower

How do you grow your own food in a small space with not a lot of time? You know you want better
health and nutrition, you’d like to be involved
in its production. And if you’re going to grow
it in a small diverse garden, how do you keep it continuously fertile? ‘Cause you want maximum production. And you want to do it
with the minimum time and minimum effort. This is a great way to do it. You put the worm farm inside the garden. It’s simple. You can just use a bucket. You cut the bottom off and then you drill holes
all the way through the bucket sides half way up. You sink it into the garden to that depth. And you fill it up with manure. And there’s the last bit and
I’ve covered all the holes. So we’re actually up to the top of the holes drilled in the side. Back it, filling all the way around. So we’ve got back pressure
against that manure on the inside. Okay, let’s put food scraps in. And it’s quite simple. You just dump it in there. Put a few weeds in there. We can convert ’em right up into soil. So you can add a bit of that weed in there too. So now, it’s time for the hard working
heroes to enter their arena. And here they are, the compost worms. Not earth worms, compost worms. They only live in the organic matter. Let’s tip ’em in and they’ll go to work. So we’re now going to get ’em all wet and slushy
because that’s what they like. And this is a very well-drained worm farm. Now, it definitely will
drain out the bottom. In fact, it’s draining nutrient straight into our garden. That’s what it’s all about. We’ll let them just drain down. It’ll bubble down to that manure, take out all the air gaps and they’ll have really good passageways into the soil edge. They won’t go into the soil, but they’ll go right up
to the edge of the soil and the liquid draining
out of the worm castings is going to go into the garden. Now it’s important that we
put the lid on the bucket. The worms don’t like light. And they want to be
protected from the sunlight. And of course, they don’t like birds coming down to eat ’em. So once we’ve sealed it, it’s not airtight because it’s got the hole in the bottom. The bottom’s cut off the bucket, it’s got all the holes in the side. But now, it’s not going to dry
out with evaporation. They’ve got a nice, light cover so they feel safe. They go to work on that there. And also, we can actually use
this for a small bird bath. You can fill that top up, birds’ll come down and drink it. It’s also the perfect flat
stand for a sprinkler. A wand circular sprinkler
will get all of this garden. We’re stacking the functions which is typical permaculture design. We can put one of these
in-between two fruit trees. This will fertilize both sides. We could put it in a
circle of fruit trees. This is a very adaptable,
simple application, making it so much easier
to close that loop of waste to product to health and nutrition. There you go.

40 thoughts on “Compost Worm Tower

  1. I already did this in my yard 🙂 it's so easy and it's low maintenance way to compost and feed trees nearby at the same time

  2. I was always a fan of Bill Mollison since the late 80's. Now I have found you on YouTube. I am enthralled. Thank you for showing us/teaching your way of farming worms.

  3. I love my worm towers in my raised gardens…ever since I put a bucket worm farm in each garden…My soil is awesome and my plants are much bigger than before.

    My attempts at having a bin worm farm…failed miserably…lol

  4. 1. what is the range of how many worms you'd put in each bucket? i see them for sale by 500's and 2000's. how many 5-gal buckets could i seed with 2000 compost worms?
    2. i purchased a couple dozen yards of hot compost in march, and i've found smaller, redder worms in the compost closer to the ground over the past two months. could i assume these are compost worms, should i be trying to set them aside now till i get my horse manure (soon, which i will also be using to begin experiments to make my own hot compost), and if they're not compost worms and i drop them into a worm farm am i sending the poor little creatures to their untimely deaths?

    so timely, so helpful, so important, thanks permaculture online

  5. We have Many mice in our Garden. They get through teeny tiny holes.. Do you think it Would be a problem? I think they also dig themselves through the earth

  6. There is another similar idea I saw on youtube some time ago. Rather than a bucket, I used a 4" plastic pipe with holes drilled around the bottom half (I used a rasp to remove the plastic remnants so they wouldn't wound the worms). I glued a female end thing so I could have a top that screwed on. It's basically a feed tube for the worms in my garden. It's called a "free range worm farm" 🙂 I feed it with chopped up fruit rinds from my kitchen. My worm population has grown. Your version contains the worms etc. But then you have to collect and spread. I'm sure my neighbors at the community garden gain from my worms. That's okay.

  7. Hi, what does happen in winter in mild temperate climate when temperatures can drop down up to minus 8 minus 10 °C? Should I remove the 5 gallon bucket in order to not to be killed by frost?

  8. Great idea I'm going to try it out I think I'm also going to add some rocks and some cans at the bottom of the bucket ( I'll have a bunch of holes at the bottom of my bucket as well it won't be wide open to try to deter snakes from getting in under the bucket) to Leach out minerals

  9. The simplest things the world will not teach you. Instructional videos as yours should be mandatory in all schools starting from the lowest grades/ages. Kids will love it and take their importance/values into adulthood.
    Very inspirational your teachings.
    Just dont let Monsanto buy the land sourrounding you 🙂
    Blessings to all

  10. Aren't compost worms an invasive species? I know, that in permaculture, there exists a somewhat relaxed attitude towards invasive in general, but I believe maybe in the animal kingdom its more difficult to ensure that the introduced species doesn't suppress all the others (like for examples immigrants in the US with native Americans)

  11. Have used a worm tower in our California home garden with huge success. Now that we moved to desert area, we have indoor worm bins. It’s important to make adaptations.

  12. Great knowledge as usual. whats the function of the manure and how do obtain the compost worms? Thanks!

  13. Do you have suggestions of ways to vermicompost outside in a climate that gets down to -15F in the winter? I love that idea for the summer, but I don't think the worms would survive our winter.

  14. Is there any maintenance required, or even optional, over time, such as adding more material on top? I mean it sort of seems like a very simple way of keeping a compost bin in the garden? And how does this work in 4 season climates?

  15. Where can I get compost worms? I checked my nurseries and I found one carton of 100 worms for about $20 US … but when I opned the top and looked around there were very few worms in the carton left. If I buy a box, and make a mistake and they die … how many times can I afford to do that? How easily will they die, and can they lay eggs or go dormant or something? These worms are a racket for local nurseries.

  16. Thank U Geoff King of Permaculture Honor AppreciateU .. I put table scraps in a few places under berry bushes & pulled weeds to cover ..whaa laah .. worms appear on there own .. soil gets richer & richer .. how wonderful Nature’s way 🌱💛😎🍃&U🙏

  17. Good Job but be careful to check water drains out as you don't want the worms in water for to long as they drown.

  18. How would you go about harvesting the worm castings and seperating the worms out to go back into the bucket?

  19. Do not flood your worm farm as shown. They do not like it "wet and slushy", they like it damp, like a wrung-out sponge. The worms are oxygen breathers, for one. And, wet means anaerobic bacteria, which are smelly. Source: Over 30 years worm composting.

  20. It was hard to watch what you unknowingly did to those poor worms. They will all likely suffocate from the amount of slow draining water you poured on top of them. Standing water reduces the amount of oxygen available to them. Although worms live in soil, they need and receive in the soil a low level of oxygen to survive. Yours is the only worm tower video I’ve seen (I’ve watched many) that says to add water. I’ve read in many places that compost worms don’t even like to be kept wet. Please investigate and remove the video so it will not misinform others. I love your kind energy and intention, but misinformation can cause harm. Thank you for reading.

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