Worm farming indoors with Tumbleweed


Indoor worm farming is a thing now thanks to the arrival of the Tumbleweed Cube

Composting, including worm farming, is one of those activities that everyone on the planet can get involved in. However, for the many people who live in smaller premises such as high-rise apartments or townhouses, the practicalities of composting have traditionally made it difficult.

The wonderful news for people in this situation is that they can now have an indoor composting system, in this case, an indoor worm farm, that is easy to establish and doesn’t create any unpleasant smells when operated correctly. Another brilliant benefit is that it provides beautifully balanced organic fertiliser, which is especially good for potted indoor plants, herbs, ornamental and edible plants. No more money spent on fertiliser. Your kitchen scraps generally contain all the nutrients that plants need in pretty much the perfect proportions since they result from the breakdown of well-fed fruit and vegetable scraps. Everyone wins!

Another exciting thing is that as well as being great for the environment, this revolutionary indoor worm farm, the Tumbleweed Cube®, is an Australian invention, manufactured locally from 100 per cent recycled UV-stabilised plastic, a further reason to get excited about it. It is a fully self-contained system that houses the worms and their castings in a no-mess, no-fuss, attractive black and green unit. It will compost two to three kilos of organic food waste every week, meaning all of the carbon and plant nutrients are kept out of landfill where they eventually become nasty greenhouse gases.

Tumbleweed has a proud history of innovation in the composting field, especially in worm farming, where they have been manufacturing worm farms in Australia for more than 30 years. All that experience in design and production has been used to create this new easy-to-assemble kit that features two large working trays with hinged handles that make them much easier to remove and carry than many other composting systems. These trays are housed inside the main frame, so they are well insulated from temperature fluctuations, which in turn leads to better moisture retention and a very stable environment that means the worms can work 24/7 at their task. Another clever design feature delivers plenty of oxygen for your hard-working worms through constant airflow via perforations in the lid and legs (which are also designed for easy snap-in installation).

The main body that houses the Tumbleweed Cube® boasts a sleek linear appearance and has been designed to minimise crevices or gaps where dust might collect indoors, with elegant black and green colouring. There is also a built-in worm tea bucket that catches the concentrated liquid the worms produce. This liquid is beautifully balanced from a plant nutritional point of view and is also full of beneficial microbes for the worm’s digestive process. Pouring the concentrate into a watering can and diluting it with five litres of water will create the perfect fertiliser for edible, ornamental gardens and indoor plants.

If you are part of a larger household with more than 2-3kg of organic material to process each week, you may want to get a second or third unit so you can alternate between the units. One of the key things to watch out for, especially if you are just starting the worm farming journey, is that you do not overwhelm your worms with too much food. You will know if this happens because you will start to get unpleasant odours that result when things get too moist from overfeeding.

To keep your worms healthy, happy and processing your kitchen scraps as efficiently as possible, it is a great idea to chop them (the kitchen scraps, not the worms of course!) as finely as you can as this makes it much easier for the worms to eat them. If you have a lot of moist scraps such as coffee grounds, tomato offcuts and the like, mix in some drier high-fibre/high-carbon materials such as shredded cardboard or paper. Chopped straw or dried grass clippings are also good for balancing out the moisture and carbon levels in your organic inputs to the Cube®.

As far as maintenance goes, once established, the Cube® can look after itself quite happily for several weeks if you need to go away for holidays or work. Depending on how much and how often you are feeding the Tumbleweed Cube®, you will need to empty the bottom tray every six months or so. This is done by emptying the bottom tray (there is a multitude of videos on YouTube to show you how to do this) and rotating the top tray to the bottom and putting the now empty bottom tray on top. The castings can be added to potting mixes (one volume of worm castings in 10 of potting mix or soil), but don’t worry too much about an exact ratio as the worm castings are very forgiving fertiliser for your plants.

The Tumbleweed Cube® will work for anyone keen to make a difference in helping to create a more sustainable environment, while at the same time producing bucket-loads of free organic fertiliser to nourish your plants.

Tumbleweed products are available from Bunnings or Australia-wide through the Tumbleweed website.

For more information