If you are considering composting for the first time, perhaps with compost worms, you've probably stumbled upon the portable Hungry Bin composting system.
This system, designed and manufactured in New Zealand, is advertised as a "clean, simple and easy way to reduce your organic waste and create nutrient rich fertilizer using compost worms!" It's portable, self-contained, and captures worm castings and nutrient-rich liquid. It also claims to handle up to 4 pounds of organic waste per day. These highlights have made it a best-seller among composters and gardeners.
For avid gardeners, families, restaurants and schools that want to reduce their waste footprint — this all sounds very appealing, right? Perhaps it's even too good to be true?
In this article, we search far and wide to gage how actual users feel about this popular composting option. Do they recommend this vermicomposting bin, or would they steer you in a different direction altogether?
Marty's Garden is an Australian-based gardening show where the namesake, Marty, focuses on learning and teaching about small-space gardening. If you've watched his content over the years, you'll come to understand his deep knowledge of all things gardening.
He spent over a year composting with worms in the Hungry Bin, and here are his main takeaways and opinions:
"Who is this worm farm for? It's for people that have an average size, urban garden. Want to get a lot of compost. Want to recycle their material. They have a good spot for it where it's out of the sun — all year round. And they like gardening."
✓ Liquid fertilizer is very easy to collect and gather from the collection tray
✓ Worm bin is very productive at composting and fast to produce
✓ Worms will breed quickly in this environment, increasing from 2k-10k in just a few months time
✓ Quality construction and materials prevents the bin from deteriorating over time and with significant use
X Can be heavy and challenging to wheel around the yard when full. Challenging to gather castings from the bottom of the bin
X Not recommended for indoor environments, as it is possible for the worms to escape through the bottom section of the bin
X Needs a few more holes to increase the air flow to the bin and allow for proper drying and air circulation
6.5/10: The Hungry Bin is a great fit for the urban or city gardener, particularly for those looking to complement their small-to-medium garden with nutrient-rich compost. The bin has a few minor issues that can be overcome, but overall, it's very productive and of the highest quality.
The Worm Farm Guru
The Worm Farm Guru focuses on, well, worm farms. He has used and reviewed a number of different flow through worm bins and similar systems, providing suggestions for use, recommendations and valuable feedback to guide the consumer.
His main takeaways and observations after using and evaluating the Hungry Bin:
"The Hungry Bin composter is one of my favorite worm farms. But it comes with a hefty price tag. It’s big and requires some patience when starting. You may need to wait 3-4 months before you can harvest."
✓ Overall a good and smart design. Portability is a major plus if you need to relocate or move the fin
✓ Efficient production and large capacity for waste and worms
✓ Not necessary to separate worms from castings, as castings are concentrated at bottom of bin. Huge time saver.
✓ Sturdy construction with high quality materials means the bin will age well over time
✓ Easy to maintain the bin overall without much manual activity required
X A bit more expensive than some other comparable options on the market
X Worms have the ability to potentially escape the bin on rare occasions
X Could use more ventilation to provide better air flow and circulation
X Worm tea can evaporate if not gathered, as it is collected in an open container at the bottom
The Hungry Bin is superior to rival worm farms, though it has its noted flaws and issues. Its innovative and highly efficient design gives it the edge over other comparable bins. With all of the noted features, it is worth the extra investment, as the user will notice the difference.
While the voice of the blogger and professional gardener is important, this composter is designed for the home gardener and novice composter with little to no experience. At SproutRite, the Hungry Bin has a perfect 5-star rating. Here are some of the highlights called out by our customers:
✓ Simple and quick to assemble with minimal tools required
✓ Seals well, keeping pets, pests and unwanted rodents away from and out of the bin
✓ Quick and easy delivery after placing your order
It was also be naïve to ignore the consumer voice at Amazon, where over 150 people have weighed in, giving the Hungry Bin a sparkling 4.7 out of 5 overall rating.
A look at the high level summaries reveals the pros and cons of this system in the eyes of consumers.
✓ Easy to assemble (4.7)
✓ Controlling the odor/scent (4.6)
✓ Ease of operation (4.5)
X Value for money (3.9)
Overall, the Hungry Bin is well received and reviewed by gardeners and consumers alike. This flow through system gets high marks for its ease of assembly and use, composting productivity, and high-quality design and manufacturing. The most often mentioned design complaint involves the lack of ventilation.
And while some believe the price of the Hungry Bin is a bit steep, it is still regarded and recommended as one of the best worm composting units on the market today, particularly due to its high efficiency.
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