Vermiculture (composting with worms)
Activity: Vermiculture (composting with worms)
This type of composting is useful if you will just be composting food waste and don't plan to compost yard waste.
What do I need?
- A compost container (almost any size will do) with a lid made of plastic or untreated wood
- soil (enough for at least 4 inches in your compost container)
- 1/2 cup of kitchen scraps (fruits, vegetables, coffee grounds, tea bags and eggshells)
- A handful of fine sand (to aid in worm digestion)
- A handful of crushed eggshell (for calcium and increased reproduction)
- Two handfuls shredded unbleached paper towels
- 1 pound of redworms
What do I do?
1) Make a few dime-sized holes in the lid and on the bottom of your bin.
2) Place enough soil to form a starting bed at least four inches deep.
3) Add a handful of fine sand, a handful of crushed eggshell, 1/2 cup of diced kitchen scraps (no meat, dairy, bones, flour, sugar, salt, vinegar, juice, preservatives, or oil) and two handfuls of shredded unbleached paper towels or newspaper.
4) Moisten the bedding so it is damp.
5) Spread the worms over the bedding and put the lid on. Let the worms rest for one week to get used to their new environment.
6) Then, feed every other day, beginning with 1/2 cup of kitchen scraps.
One pound of worms will consume 1/2 pound of kitchen scraps per day. Increase feedings as worms multiply. If the worms don’t consume all of the scraps, decrease the amount of food. Make sure the top layer of the bedding is always damp. You do not need to stir the compost. Your redworm castings (nutrient-rich excretions) should be ready to harvest in two to three months. Simply scrape the top few inches of soil with worms to one side and remove the castings in the bottom of the bin to transplant into your garden.
More information: www.thewormfarm.net