The unfortunate demise of the contents of his first wormery has caused Reverend Green to consider the value of this method of composting

Now the Code for Sustainable Homes gives points for composting facilities I suggest house builders think about this carefully at the planning stage. They didn’t think too hard about integrated composting facilities back in 1840 when my house was built as I have found out to my cost.

During one of her sudden 'we must save the environment' moments my wife decided we needed a compost bin, or rather a wormery. The advert in one of the many magazines my wife subscribes to struck a chord; the blurb went on about compact size, no odours and a special juice that does wonders for your garden in next to no time at all. An order was quickly placed.

A couple of days later this thing that looked like a miniature wheely bin turned up. Not the most attractive object in the world, but given the garden is littered with children’s plastic toys it didn’t stand out too much. The worms were sent separately and were left by the delivery company on our doorstep on the hottest day of last year. Of course they were all dead so another lot was sent out and placed in the wheely bin.

I then found myself being ticked off for being too overenthusiastic with the potato peelings. Apparently the poor things need time to get used their new home and don’t like being overburdened with kitchen waste. Nothing much seemed to happen, and then winter came. Suspecting another five minute wonder I asked my wife what was going on. I was told they go dormant during the winter. A lot of kitchen waste has gone into the bin since. Now its April, and still no sign of the wonder juice. Personally I have my doubts about the merits of composting in cities, but a colleague whose father has a wormery swears by them, and another colleague who has a compost bin also talks about it enthusiastically. Clearly a topic for more research.