The hiatus is over! Worms again eat my garbage. Our recent move was hard on the worms and the chalet was vacated.
It has finally cooled off enough for the Worm Woman to ship me some red-wigglers.
With worm composting, there are no in-between stages. With a compost heap, you have stages of well-rotted composted or partially rotted. With the worms, the waste has either been digested or it hasn’t. Also, if you keep your worms alive over winter, there’s a place to take the waste when the heap is frozen. Besides the practical purposes, worms are a fun educational tool showing how to take waste and use it again and again and again. Once I began gardening, I was thrilled to see garden waste (from radish greens, ravaged lettuce, dead sunflowers, rotten watermelon, etc.) turned into fertilizer to be used on the next season’s garden. Completing the cycle!
A commercial producer of vermicompost, TerraCycle, is being sued by Scotts Miracle Gro after claiming that their worm poo product out-performed Miracle Gro fertilizer. The coolest part about this little company is that they reuse soda bottles to pack their products. As long as TerraCycle can win the lawsuit, they will probably get a lot more business as a result of all the media attention.
If you are interested in worm composting, let me know and I’ll email you a vermicompost primer I created in grad school. If you are interested in more in-depth instructions, check out Worms Eat My Garbage by Mary Appelhof, the late Worm Woman.
Before I got the worm chalet for a birthday, I simply used plastic bins with holes drilled into the sides for air circulation. It doesn’t have to be a complicated process. I learned about vermicomposting while working at a lodge that that had an extensive set-up to accommodate a lot of kitchen and paper waste. Later, I reduced the set-up to make it suitable for apartment-living. That’s another great thing about vermicomposting—it’s scalable.
The hard workers.