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Can-O-Worms – Harvest Time!

Can-O-Worms in barnOn a recent trip to my parents house for Easter, I was informed on arrival that one of my tasks before I left was to empty their Can-O-Worms wormery.  They are avid recyclers and composters but harvesting the goodies from the wormery always seems to fall to me when I visit.  Between you and I, this pleases me greatly!  Their wormery is kept out of harms way in the corner of the barn but as the sun was shining, I opted to move it out into the garden to take advantage of the rays.

Removing the layers one by one is always a fascinating process. On previous visits we’ve uncovered perfect and beautiful compost but on this occasion it wasn’t the best.

It started off well when I removed the lid and moisture mat to reveal the newest waste which was made up of lots of potato pealings, egg shells and toilet roll tubes amongst other things.  Some worms had migrated up to this tier to start feasting but you could still make out what most of the contents were.

Moisture MatImage

Putting this to one side, I went to the next level which looked good on the surface but digging a little deeper showed that all was not as well as usual.

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The tray was full of compost but as I started to dig into it, it was clear that it was made up of good compost but a lot of partially broken down toilet roll holders too.

When they separate their household and kitchen waste for recycling, they put some in the compost bin and some in the wormery but lately it seems that too many toilet roll holders have been put in the wormery.  I put this down to the fact that their compost bin is 3 times as far to walk to than the wormery and in the winter, trudging down to the bottom of the garden is not an attractive prospect!

The compost was also quite wet which meant that the partially composted cardboard was a little slimy.  I put some of the contents back into the previous tray to give the worms another go at breaking it down and harvested the rest.  It was wetter than usual but when we finished with this tray we found that the sump was blocked slightly which was stopping all the liquid from draining away completely.

 We freed up the blockage, rescued some worms that had fallen in and reassembled the Can-O-Worms, putting the newly emptied tray at the top, ready to receive any new waste.

Blocked sump

After sharing out the the newly harvested compost between 5 or 6 tubs of geraniums, I returned the unit back to its home in the corner of the barn and advised my folks to go easy on the toilet roll holders in future.  Until next time my wiggly friends…


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Product Spotlight – Compost Converter

Made in Yorkshire from recycled plastic, the Compost Converter is a staple and much loved product in our range.

There are two colours and two sizes:

Black 220 & 330 Compost Converter

Black 220 & 330 Compost Converter

Black 220 litre

Black 330 litre

Green 220 litre

Green 330 litre

220 & 330 litre Green Compost Converter

220 & 330 litre Green Compost Converter

 

The 220 litre version is 900 mm tall and 740 mm wide (the widest part being at the bottom).

The 330 litre version stands 1000 mm high and 800 mm wide.

 

 

 

They are open at the bottom so sit straight onto the soil or if you prefer, you can purchase a base to go with your bin.

Compost Converter Base - fits both 220 & 330- litre models

Compost Converter Base – fits both 220 & 330- litre models

 

This is especially good when you are siting it on concrete or a patio as it aids both drainage and ventilation.

 

 

 

The Compost Converter is great for both first time composters and experts alike…

 

The Compost Converter is great for both first time composters and experts alike and we get great feedback about the results our customers achieve with this simple bin!

Having one is a great asset to any household but our brilliant Buy One, Get One Half Price offer means that getting two does not break the bank.  Having two not only doubles your capacity but gives you flexibility to mix up different types and stages of compost to achieve the best results.

At home in any garden

At home in any garden

We’ll be posting information on what to compost and what not to, as well as tips on how to get the best out of your bin over the coming weeks but if you have any questions in the meantime our composting experts are on hand!


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Trashy Fashion

A new trend that seems to be taking form in the fashion industry is the idea of taking recyclable materials and creating amazing garments of clothing.

The great thing about this idea is that anything goes, from dresses made from used tea bags to cotton bobbins and drinks cartons.

1920s Flapper Dress

The below garments were created by Nancy Judd, a public artist and environmental activist who creates couture fashion using trash.

This 1920s flapper style dress, along with the matching shoes were fashioned from a used cloth shower curtain and hundreds of hand-cut tear drop and circle shapes from aluminium cans. The gown took over 200 hours to create.

Caution Tape Sundress

Nancy Judd also fashioned this dress using rolls of caution tape recovered at the side of the road and donated from real crime scenes by police family and friends. The tape was sewn into a vintage sundress and took over 50 hours to create.

Along with dresses, designers are also creating trashy accessories:

Circuit Board Necklace

This necklace has been made using recycled electronic circuit boards. The designer has also used this method to create recycled circuit board earrings and bracelets which can be bought online here.

Designer Yoav Kotik creates intricate jewellery such as those shown on the right, from recycled bottle caps.

Now we know, not all of us have the talent or the time to create clothing and accessories like the above. However why not try upcycling your old clothes in to new ones, here’s a few simple ideas to get started:

Fashion new socks from old sweaters…

 

 

shirt skirt

Or even switch an old shirt for a new skirt…

So get out your scissors and sewing kits and don’t let your clothes go to waste:)


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Bokashi Bin being used in a kitchen.

The Bokashi system allows you to break down food waste, so it can be added to a typical garden composter.

The Bokashi Bin (also known as the Kitchen Composter) is a unique product that allows you to compost all your kitchen waste including cooked and raw meat, fish and dairy products as well as any other organic material.

With regular composting you can compost some kitchen waste, such as fruit and vegetable peelings, egg shells and coffee grounds as well as your garden waste but when it comes to leftovers or meat and fish bones you are more restricted. That’s where the Bokashi Bin comes in!

Bokashi means ‘fermented organic matter’ in Japanese and was developed by Professor Teruo Higa at the University of Ryukyus Okinawa. He found that the work he was doing to improve soil fertility could also be applied to composting.

Bokashi comes in the form of a bran/molasses mix which is infused with beneficial bacteria, yeasts and fungi. This mixture works together to speed up composting, suppress pathogens, prevents putrefaction and eliminates bad smells.

The bin has an 18 litre capacity so the perfect size to store plenty of waste whilst not being out of place in your kitchen or utility room. The lid is air-tight as you need to achieve an anaerobic environment (no air) rather than the usual aerobic composting process which requires air.

Simply fill the bin with waste and each time you put waste in, add a handful of bran. Once full, the bin should be left to do its work for a couple of weeks. You should not open the bin during this time as this will allow air to get into the mix so no matter how curious you become – leave it closed! For this reason, we recommend you buy the Twin Pack so that you have an uninterrupted process – while one bin is pickling, you can keep adding to the other.

“A common misconception is that the waste will turn into compost during those two weeks while it is locked away under the air-tight lid.”

A common misconception is that the waste will turn into compost during those two weeks while it is locked away under the air-tight lid. What actually happens is that for the most part the waste maintains its appearance while the makeup of the material is altered. Once it has finished this process, the contents of your Bokashi Bin can either be buried in the ground (where they will break down really quickly into the soil) or added to your regular compost bin (where it will complete join the rest of the waste to transform into lovely compost). You will also find that it helps to speed up the composting process for the rest of your bin, which is a boon!

The Bokashi Bin also has a sump and a tap. This is because liquid is produced and needs to be drained from the bin. Incredibly, the liquid is also a rather wonderful by-product which can be used in two ways:

  • Plant feed – The liquid is alive with beneficial microbes and as such, is a great plant feed once diluted.
  • Drain cleaner – The micro-organisms help to prevent algae build-up and control odours so the concentrated liquid can be poured directly into your sinks, toilets and drains.

All in all this is a great system for both those with a garden who are already composting and those with limited garden space.

At evengreener.com we sell Bokashi Bins in either a single or twin pack. Both come with a three to four month supply of Bokashi bran. More bran can be purchased individually, or as part of an ongoing subscription plan.

As always, if you have any questions, please get in touch.

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