Worm farm

Tips and tricks for looking after this mini-ecosystem in your backyard!

A hand holding some worms in soil. Text next to the hand reads:

Worm farm how-to guide (280KB PDF)

What can and can't go in your worm farm – reference guide (310KB JPG)

How does a worm farm work?

The Worm Café is a contained, productive system where worms eat your food scraps and process them into rich fertilizer for your yard or garden. You need to provide a bit of extra care to this enclosed mini-ecosystem, as the worms need to be in a cool space, kept moist, dark, and need to be fed regularly and have new “bedding material” added. It’s a bit like adopting a pet! 

The worm population is self- regulating, so you don’t need to worry about them becoming over-crowded. This option can be very popular with children.

What can I do with the finished product?

A type of soil called “worm castings” is created that can be used as a top dressing for pot plants and garden beds. Liquid, known as “worm tea”, is also passed through the bins, which, once diluted, makes excellent plant food.

What space is required?

Dimensions of the worm café: 57cm long x 39cm wide x 75cm high, with a total capacity of 77L. Small and versatile, it can be placed outside in a cool shady site sheltered from the sun, carports, patios, or sheltered porches are ideal. A great if you do not have a garden – you can use the worm castings as mulch or for indoor plants.

What you can put in: 

Fruit scraps, vegetables and peelings, tea leaves, coffee grounds, bread, leftovers, egg shells. Bedding material:  cardboard, egg cartons, shredded paper.

What you can’t put in:

Spicy food, onions, garlic, meat, dairy products, oils, soup, bones.

Accessories that come with the worm cafe

You will receive a 250g box of live Tiger Worms in the post to start your Worm Café.

More information

If you have a question about the Para Kai Miramar Trial you can email us at food.waste@wcc.govt.nz