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Turn your household garbage , junk mail etc into rich organic Fertilizer!

Aug 29th 2010 at 10:52 AM
Vermicomposting starve the landfills feed the Worms

Turn your household garbage , junk mail etc into rich organic Fertilizer!

Vermiculture or sometimes referred to as vermicomposting is a clean odorless system or technique where food waste is processed into a rich fertilizer.

It's simple. Red worms are put into a plastic or wood bin with moist shredded newspaper, peat moss, brown leaves or straw. Food scraps like apple cores, vegetable peelings and coffee grounds are buried in the bedding. The worms eat the scraps and produce a great compost that can be used to enrich the soil of your house plants, gardens and flower beds. It's usually done indoors, so worm composting is great for apartment dwellers as well as those backyard composters who want to continue composting during the winter months. Worm composting also provides a great lesson in ecology.

Remember that worms are living creatures. They have specific needs just like we do in order to maintain health and happiness. As their guardian, your job is to provide the right environment (i.e.. Light, moisture, temperature etc.), and the right food. Your worms will reward you with an ample supply of castings.

Red Worms ... Not Brown Worms

Vermicomposting is done by red worms, also known as red wrigglers (Eisenia fetida). They thrive on organic materials like food scraps. They are not the same as common brown earth worms, which prefer to live and burrow in soil. Red worms are smaller and more reddish in color, preferring a dark, warm, very moist environment. They work best at temperatures from 15 - 25 degrees C. Under these conditions they are voracious eaters. One pound (454g) of worms can eat 1/2 pound (227g) of food waste every day.
Worm Composting
Find a Container:
A portable bin can be used year-round-- indoors all year round, or outdoors during the milder months. A bin approximately 2 ft. x 3 ft. with solid sides, drainage holes and a tight-fitting lid works best. You can use a wood or plastic container, or use your imagination and recycle something like an old dresser drawer, trunk, or discarded barrel. Some worm composters prefer wood because it is more absorbent and a better insulator for the worms.

Get Worms!
Redworms (also known as red wiggler, brandling, or manure worm) are best suited to do the job. They are often found in aged manure and compost heaps. Do not use dew-worms (large size worms found in soil and compost), as they are not likely to survive.
Where To Get Worms...

Prepare the Bin:

Fill your bin with moistened shredded newspaper, peat moss, or cardboard "bedding".
Mix in a little soil or fine sand to provide grit.
Add a pound of red worms for every pound of food scraps you plan to compost each week. Note: the correct ratio of worms to food waste should be: for one pound per day of food waste, use two pounds of worms (roughly 2000). If you are unable to get this many worms to start with, reduce the amount of food waste accordingly while the population steadily increases.
Bury your food waste throughout the bin. The worms will gradually eat it and turn it into rich compost.
Wait a few days and then bury more food waste.
"YES" compost materials: shredded paper, vegetable and fruit scraps, coffee grounds, tea bags, old bread, fruit peels/rinds, and fruit pulp. Egg shells can be added, but should be crushed first.

"NO" compost materials: meat and other animal products, fish, dairy products, greasy or oily foods, pet feces, ashes.

Harvesting Your Compost:
Two or three times a year, when most of the contents of the bin have become dark "worm castings", the compost can be harvested. The finished product will be greatly reduced from the original volume, and should only fill one half or less of the bin. The compost may be harvested by moving it all to one side of the bin and adding fresh bedding to the empty side. Then begin burying food waste in the new bedding. The worms will finish decomposing the old bedding and then migrate to the fresh bedding and food scraps, allowing finished compost to be harvested.


To order your Starter Worms For Composting Click Here

Please to comment
May 9th 2011 at 10:31 PM by ShaneCroker
Good stuff. Since I throw my scraps out into my garden, I'm thinking about getting some of those red wigglers and turning them loose to see what they will do. Too bad we can't recycle all that junk email into our gardens... sorry... I had to throw that one in there.
Oct 4th 2010 at 5:58 AM by JohnnyKid
Unfortunately our consumerist society want faster results, but for the ones who actually do care, and make an effort to find the means, here's a proper idea. Great post, man, great post!
Sep 17th 2010 at 8:06 AM by CraftCycler
Great article! Finding a good all weather location is still holding me up from building my own worm bin, but it's definitely on my list of things to do.

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