Show #307 – Hannah Churton: Food Waste Solutions From The Mindset, To The Practicalities Of Worm Farming And Compost


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And on this week’s show!

This week is all about taking action on food waste – which, if it was a country it would be the 3rd largest emitter behind China and the USA – It’s a BIG deal and instead we seem to keep focusing on what’s on the plate instead of what’s in the BIN! Hannah Churton literally lives to make people feel confident about bringing worm farming or composting solutions into your life and in this show we discuss best options for a range of home styles – including apartments without balconies – and we also discuss barriers to entry, hiccups when getting started and common trouble shoots and what to do. I hope you love it as much as I did. I took extra good care of my worms this week, remembering just how important a job they did, after speaking with Hannah.

Questions I asked Hannah:

  • Food waste stats and just how important it is to compost our food scraps, however we end up finding a way that works for us.
  • For people I know who don’t compost, a big barrier seems to be the fear of doing something wrong, with stinky or gross consequences. How do you get people to overcome their fear?
  • Variety of ways we can compost – fro community garden drop off, bokashi, to worm farm (small/big) to compost bin, barrel, underground compost + above ground dirt heap compost.
  • What do you reckon is the best no-yard/no-balcony option?
  • How about then, balcony option? Small yard, inner city option? Big space suburban options? Rural/land/property option?
  • What food scraps don’t you put in the compost? Does the list differ for worm farming?
  • Compost first for troubleshoots and ‘best preventative practice’ to avoid a bad kind o rotting?
  • Worm farms – how do we know how much they can handle? What do we do when our worm farm seems super ‘full’ of worms falling over each other? What if we notice mould growing? What do we do with all the worm tea?
  • What have you learnt from starting a community compost hub?

About The Worm Monger and Hannah Churton

The Worm Monger is an educational platform dedicated to helping people better manage food waste in their own homes. It also provides a consulting service to help businesses, councils, schools and communities manage their organic waste better. Hannah Churton is the face behind The Worm Monger. She is a former diplomat, who started her journey with garden & compost as a way to build a sense of ‘home’ in the far flung parts of the world she was posted. Back in Australia and in the depths of the covid lockdown, she started a community compost hub, which has now saved more than 5 tonnes of food waste from landfill. Off the back of it’s success, she decided to double down on her food waste passion and started a PhD examining how Australia can meet the food waste reduction targets set by the UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. Despite that, she creates much more food waste than ideal, on account of her other great passion – two tiny girls who love to leave a meal unfinished and who are, incidentally, also a big driving factor in her desire to build a better, greener world.

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Other Helpful Links:


Free Worm Farm Guide from The Worm Monger

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Enjoy the show,

Comments 1

  1. I’ve just viewed tonight’s episode of “The war on waste”, and watched Hannah talking of composting. I compost, and my bin has a lid on it. Am I creating methane by having the lid on it.
    Perhaps I should drill holes in the lid to prevent this problem. Can you advise.

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