Saturday, August 1, 2009

Compost "Worm"

I got an amazing addition to my garden toolbox last week - the Compost Worm, invented by Dion Kentwell in Newcastle. A retired engineer, Dion named the device 'Worm' to describe the way it 'screws' down inside the material (apparently this is common engineer-speak). You could also call it the Compost Corkscrew - it corkscrews down into the compost just like into an old-fashioned bottle of wine, then you pull it up again in order to aerate the contents, and corkscrew the other way to let all the material go again.

The problem with composting when you don't have any garden waste or chicken manure or anything going into it is that all the kitchen waste on its own just sits there, compacting into a really horrid substance. This is the case with me (renting a house with a professionally maintained garden) just as it is in an urban environment.

I knew I had to do something with my compost but was a bit stumped. A weekly pitchforking was recommended, but I didn't own one. Besides, where would I put everything I upended with the pitchfork? I could hardly wield one in my 30 weeks pregnant state, either.

Enter the Compost Worm and its amazing ability to turn a solid, slimy smelly mass into aerated, tossed and pleasant-smelling humus.

You can get quite warm operating it (great in the cold weather right now) but it isn't as physically demanding as pitchforking :)

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