Timbah rooftop herb garden part 2: Set up the cycles

Worms turning waste into valuable compost

As Urban GreenSpace is about nutrient and waste cycling as much as it is about food production, I wanted this project to pave the way for my subsequent projects. I wanted to get everyone in on the act so as much of the waste as possible was to be cycled.

Organic waste:

Organic waste from the restaurant business is huge and to my knowledge there is very little being done to try and deal with it. It goes to landfill which is a huge loss of nutrients. Organic waste breaks down and produces methane once it gets to landfill and that’s all bad because it is one of the worst greenhouse gases – way worse than CO2.

I’m not going to be so crazy/ambitious/naive as to think we can cycle all organic waste. It’s a busy bar and to capture everything at this stage is not feasible (and not everyone is as concerned with waste as much as me either J). I decided to start small and look at setting up a couple of systems.

Worm farms:

Before I could make suggestions, Tim had bought a couple of Worm Cafes. The packaging alone is worth buying these. Simply hilarious!

Yes, a "gourmet" worm farm with sexy and sophisticated chopstick-wielding, lipstick-wearing worms in tiaras! Image courtesy of Julia from ourbeginnings.wordpress.com

The idea with these is to process the raw prep waste from the kitchen. Eventually the worm castings will help produce soil for phase 3 garden beds as well as worm wee for fertiliser. These worm farms will be supplemented by the micro worm farms I build into the barrels but more on that later.

Off site processing:

Daph the chef has a chicken at home so each week I give her a bucket of food scraps to take home – this will take care of some of the plate scrapings and hopefully give the chicken a bit of variety in her diet.

In addition to the worm farms and Daph’s chicken, I have built a black soldier fly “biopod” which I have at home to help process more waste. As a product of this composting method, there is a yield of self-harvesting fly larvae which I also give to Daph for her chicken (she apparently goes nuts for them!) More on “BSF” later.


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Categories: Bars & restaurants

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  1. Nutrient cycling: What? Why? And how to design one | Urban GreenSpace - October 26, 2011

    […] have previously mentioned yet another good reason to cycle nutrients is that rotting organic waste in landfill produces […]

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