Indoor Composting with the Parasite Farm

An indoor solution for the balcony and allotment-less urban dweller.

The word parasite carries with it some nasty connotations, particularly for the independent young urbanite. There’s the bloodcurdling kind (rats scrambling into crevices pitted into the tracks of the F train, e.g.)and then there’s the human kind (roommate, from hell). Both are pretty nasty.

They feed off our trash while lusting for our blood. They’re capable of murder most foul. Parasites: they suck. Whoever would invite them to live amongst us, in our kitchens? Where we eat?

The answer is, clever Deutschlanders Charlotte Dieckmann and Nils Ferber. They’re behind the strikingly inoffensive Parasite Farm.

The Parasite Farm is an indoor vermicomposting system, replete with a chopping-board for quick scraps disposal. It can be attached to a kitchen table and the mountable plant boxes can be affixed to existing bookshelves.

Inside the Parasite Farm live the parasites that feed off your biological waste churning it into humus soil.

According to Fast Company via The New York Times, food waste accounts for roughly 13 percent of the trash in the United States. Composting in the open country or even the ‘burbs offers an easy solution to offset that level of waste. Composting in the city is “not for the faint of heart.”

“It requires commitment, space and sharing tight quarters with rotting matter and two-inch-long wiggler worms that look like pulsing vermicelli.”

Um, ick.

It also beckons fruit flies and, if not pulled off correctly, major olfactory funk. Luckily the Parasite Farm comes with this handy little flytrap to keep the fruit flies where they’re meant to be.

And the lively green device makes the task look friendly and approachable, thus totally doable for the composting impaired.

Here’s a visual of how it works:

Step 1.

Slide veggie trimmings into the bin, where the worms live.

Step 2.

Harvesting involves shaking the grate at the bottom and pulling it out of the drawer underneath

Step 3.

Leftover water is siphoned into a separate tank to be used as a liquid fertilizer.

Step 4.

Voila! Fertilize seeds with your apartment grown soil. Call yourself Farmer Jane.

Truly, this is as close to urban organic as you can get.


Images: Alexander Giesemann; Charlotte Dieckmann


K. Emily Bond

K. Emily Bond is the Shelter Editor at EcoSalon and currently resides in southern Spain, reporting on trends in art, design, sustainable living and lifestyle.