Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Yup, I've Started Composting With Worms

I've wanted to start doing this for three years and finally got brave enough. I always thought it would be easier with a professionally purchased bin made especially for it. Something like this one but I decided I'm too cheap to buy one. There are many different ways to make one and I chose just to use a big blue plastic bin since we have quite a few of them.

My hubby helped me by drilling two small holes in the bottom and some one inch holes across the top of one side and the bottom of the other. I've read that plastic bins tend to stay very moist so I wanted it to be pretty well ventilated. Then I glued some screening to the outside of the bin to cover the holes, mostly to keep away flies, apparently they worms don't try to escape as long as conditions are not toxic!

With the bin all ready, I shredded a bunch of newspaper by hand until it was in 1-2 inch wide strips then I threw in a couple of handfuls of dirt (worms don't have teeth and need some grit to eat.) I then dampened the newspaper bedding with water using enough so that all the paper was wet but not too much so that it was dripping. After adding the moist bedding to the bin I added the worms which is what yesterday's picture showed. After about 30 minutes they were all underneath the newspaper bedding and now when I open the bin I barely ever see any worms on top. I buried some food scraps in the bedding, put on the lid and let them be.

In just a week that first pile of scraps I put in are almost gone, but I think I did overload the system with too much fruit and veggies a couple days later. Apparently if I just let it sit now the worms will catch up with the scraps and eventually they'll multiply to an ample population to handle our amount of food waste. In a few months we'll have wonderful vermicompost to feed our garden and plants.

Oh, and did I mention that this entire composting system is currently sitting in our downstairs bath tub. It only smells when you overload it with food (even though mine is over loaded at the moment it doesn't really smell unless you go digging in the bedding). You can find more info and order your own red wriggler worms at Mary Applehof's web site and I also purchased her book Worms Eat My Garbage as a reference.

I'll probably be posting periodically with updates on how it's going - but this is how I got it all set up!

I'm updating this post because I forgot to mention yesterday that Jamie who blogs at all things avery just introduced her new business. Her custom photo card site is amazing, it's called Wee Little Designs (cute name huh?!!) and I can't believe the number of designs she has, nor how amazing they all are! Comment and link to her blog by tomorrow and you could win 25 free cards! She's really got talent!


Adventures In Babywearing said...

Wow. I HAVE to say I am quite impressed!!!


Life With All Boys said...

Impressed indeed!!! My hubby's grandparents have a composting container thingy. But I've never actually looked inside.


Anonymous said...

Wow, you go! I don't think I could do this, and since I live in an apt now, that's an even bigger excuse!! LOL. But I did find an organic farmers market down the road that I'm so excited to go to this Saturday!!

Stephanie said...

That is so neat! Way to go!

tegdirb92 said...

we composted a few years back using chicken wire ans stakes. It's amazing how fast your pile turns into compost. Raw egg shells and coffee grounds seemed to speed up the process nicely. Great job!!

Joanna said...

This is definitely on my list to do, once we get a house. I'd do it in my apartment, except, I don't have any use for the compost!
Great job!