Friday, May 4, 2007

Composting with worms

While on a jaunt in Charlotte week before last, I was lucky enough to receive my very own worm bin for vermicomposting kitchen waste. (Thank you Chris North!) This has sparked several realizations on my part:

1 - Vermicomposting is really easy. I can't believe I didn't start doing it sooner. Basically, you make a ventilated bin (putting a few holes in the side of a plastic storage bin works well), load it up with dirt and bedding material (I started with shredded newspaper), keep everything about the dampness of a wrung-out sponge, add worms, and add kitchen scraps (about 1/2 pound a day, or 3 - 4 pounds a week), and presto! You're vermicomposting! There is little or no smell, the worms are totally contained and need very little extra care, save the periodic addition of your food scraps, and some moisture maintenance. Before long, you'll have a bin full of worm castings (i.e. worm poo, but don't worry, it doesn't smell!) that is an excellent fertilizer for potted plants and gardens.

2 - Your town and county probably have resources to get you started. Many NC municipalities (including Charlotte and Raleigh) have programs in their solid waste departments that promote and support vermicomposting. NC Cooperative Extension also has vermicomposting workshops and information. Check out your town website, or your local cooperative extension office, to see if there are programs in your area that you could be taking advantage of to get a cheap or free worm bin, or a starter supply of redworms.

My dog, Indiana, making friends with her new roommates, the worms.

Above, my dog Indiana makes friends with her new roommates, the redworms.

Have a good time. :)

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