We started off our composter with supplies to make two boxes to be stacked on top of each other, a base frame, a lid, and mesh to finish the bottom of the boxes. The design of this box is loosely based on the beehive vermicomposter, where the boxes have meshed bottoms to encourage worms to continually travels upwards to new food scraps. Like this, the boxes can consistently be re-stacked, and the compost easily harvested.
We used untreated pine wood so our bin would be worm friendly and edible to our worms should the wood begin to rot. We first created our boxes. You can choose any dimensions you like, but it is important to create a worm bin which is wider than it is deep, to create surface area for the worms, who live within centimeters of the surface.
Next, we tried on our lid for size, and then constructed the lid so that it would flip open for easy access, and close completely to keep out bugs and keep in any smells (there really shouldn’t be any since food scraps should be buried!)
With the boxes made the lid working and labeled ‘worms’ to keep out any unsuspecting guests, we were ready to screw together the base and start stacking.
Despite the slightly warped pine wood boxes, our composter seemed to fit together adequately, so we then went ahead with adding the mesh to the bottom of our boxes. I used a quarter inch mesh, large enough for the worms to pass through as they swim upwards to get at new food scraps.
After that we trimmed off the excess mesh, and re-assembled the composter!
As I got started with the start-up of my worm bin, I realized I had constructed something very large to start with! In the photo below, the small wooden box served as a perfect start-up worm bin, where you can add egg shells occasionally to balance the pH and encourage the worms to reproduce. Hopefully we will have enough worms to populate both worm bins in no time!