About Balkonton

wooden worm hotel for in fa├žade garden

Let’s introduce ourselves

My name is Ireen Laarakker. I started Balkonton because I wanted to contribute something to a more sustainable society. My goal is to show people who initially have nothing to do with permaculture or sustainability how important a healthy soil is. And show them how easy, fun and useful it is to compost your own waste.

In 1996 I graduated from TU Delft (Industrial Design Engineering). Before I set up my own company with Balkonton, I worked as a product manager, teacher of technology and innovation advisor.


In 2014 came into contact with worm composting via a Youtube video about the ‘garden barrel’. After having made one myself, I felt as an industrial designer that this should be better (more beautiful, easier). The result is the Balkonton Classic. Because it looks nice and is also for sale in garden centers and, for example, on bol.com, a wide audience comes into contact with the concept of worm composting.

In recent years, the range has been expanded with more products that fit in with sustainable (urban) gardening. Often new products arise from conversations with customers. I produce the Balkonton and the Gevelbak myself in my workshop in Drenthe.

Through the Compost Guild I co-founded, I try to further promote (worm) composting. Among other things through workshops, lectures and social media.

Visit the expo garden in Amsterdam North

I have tested all worm bins and compost bins that are for sale in the webshop myself. In my garden on the Moestuinlaan (yes no joke!!) you can come and see the various worm bins and compost barrels by appointment. Or call me for a personal telephone advice.


Balkonton is a one-woman business, but I like to work with others often. Below I introduce you to the most important partners:

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