Taking the hard work out of composting!

It was a beautiful crisp misty morning in the Channon as the team from Compost Central who have developed the innovative new vermi-composting system Subpod came to visit us on Zaytuna Farm. The Subpod inventor, Andrew and his team, Saadi, Kathryn and Ky, arrived loaded up with their Subpod, bedding material of coir peat, worm castings and aerator to share with a bevy of international permaculture students at Zaytuna Farm, the benefits of subterranean composting with Subpod.

We all gathered at the kitchen garden and found a suitable spot close to the pathway allowing for easy access to the Subpod. Everyone joined in to help prepare the site – a hole was dug to the size of the Subpod and after placing it in the hole, was backfilled with soil allowing a good 200mm surround of soil to allow worm/microbe migration and airflow. We then added the bedding material and worms topping it all off with a worm blanket to keep them cosy and moist.

Andrew talked on the importance of composting on location and how the Subpod below ground system takes the hard work and mess out of disposing of food waste and feeding the soil at the plant root level. As we all know, soil health is paramount in growing healthy food and healthy people!

Whilst the Subpod is composting in the ground it acts as an insulator and allows the worms and microbes to travel in and around the immediate area of the unit distributing nutrients.
The by-product of the Subpod is maintaining and building existing soil as well as improving soil through the elevation of nutrients via the microbes and worm activity in the Subpod and it’s immediate surrounds. Andrew gave us the breeding and feeding cycle of the worms and microbes and reminded us just how precious the castings that will be produced from Subpod can be to add back into the garden or used to feed other plants.

The Subpod not only disposes of organic waste, but is also a ‘growth hub’ for a garden.

The movement of worms and microbes between the Subpod and the garden bed, builds soil fertility and plant health, allowing the growth of nutrient-dense food.

There was great enthusiasm and discussion around the potential use of Subpod in a variety of situations. Sam jumped on board to be custodian of the Zaytuna Farm Subpod and share with updates and photos of how it works.

Here at Zaytuna Farm we love to trial and support new ways of composting and the thing we love about the Subpod is that it is a system built for everyday use in a backyard residential settings and will play an essential part as we move forward with taking Permaculture mainstream.

A brief summary of what Subpod does:

  • Turns organic waste into nutrient-rich soil
  • Diverts waste from going to landfill
  • Sequesters carbon
  • Helps grow nutrient-dense food

Geoff’s summary and testimonial after reviewing the functioning of the Subpod gives glowing reviews:

“When we feed the soil we bring the food vitality and nutrient density right up to the maximum. It’s the soil ecosystem we’re stimulating. And the Subpod incubates that into action.  It starts that catalyst of event right there in your garden. From your waste stream on your kitchen bench, straight into your garden back to the food – where you are. You can’t do it more efficiently!”


Subpod will be available to pre-order on 20/21 March via the crowdfunding site Indiegogo.
Check their website for details:

It’s a fantastic innovation we should all support. It’s so important to make composting a part of everyday life!



The Permaculture Research Insitute

PRI Zaytuna Farm functions as a model farm (in development) and permaculture training facility. Geoff and Nadia Lawton, world-renowned permaculture educators and consultants, lead the project. Much of Geoff and Nadia’s time over the last few years has been spent away from the Institute, consulting and helping set up projects in diverse locales around the world. Seeing the worldwide demand for knowledgeable permaculture consultants and teachers increase exponentially, as fuel and fertiliser prices skyrocket and the effects of climate change, soil depletion and water shortages begin to hit hard, priority and focus is now shifting back to the Institute, where growing the training program will increase the output of quality teachers to help fill the growing need for them.


  1. Question: What are the benefits of this over a vermicomposting system above ground that you can extract teas or material from for the garden? I understand it automatically spreads it in the vicinity for you, but wouldn’t it be better to have control over where your vermicompost goes? I just wanted to know why this for a home grower over a different system.

    Looks great by the way! It’s definitely cool

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