Saturday, January 10, 2015

Vermicomposting

01/10/2014

I'm not much of a gardener, but I'm trying! If you have been reading my blog you know that I do care about the environment, so composting just makes sense. Why throw something in the trash, where it will be buried in a landfill and take years to decompose when its something that will decompose and create good compost for you in months under the right conditions?

Composting is a good idea, but Vermicomposting is even better!
 When it comes to vermicomposting, and composting in general you have options... You can make the bins as complicated or simple as you want, and you can make this as inexpensive or expensive as you choose as well! Buying a worm bin is the expensive route, which can cost over $100. I prefer the DIY route so here are some options for that from easiest to more work...



In the first picture Mrs. Queen Bee also included a list of things to get your bin started. You always want some bedding, shredded up newspaper works well, as do leaves, and both can be obtained free (I have never lived anywhere that didn't have a free paper of some sort... other than that you need some soil to start out with, some worms, and some worms food. What do you feed your worms? I feed mine pretty much any leftover produce, from parts we simply don't use or whole produce that has gone bad. Eggs, tea, and coffee are also great for your compost bin and are good for your worms.

Red Wrigglers do best in temperate conditions, but have survived an Arkansas summer and I just checked on them yesterday and found they are surviving the winter... although I brought some into my garage just as a precaution for the winter. The worms need moist soil, too much water can drown them so when making your bin make sure there are holes for water to drain from, and in droughts make sure you water them!
What kind of worm? I use Red Wrigglers for several reasons.
1. A Red wriggler can produce 468 hatchlings per year. 
2. They can eat up to their body weight daily (which means 1 lb of worms will eat 1/2 lb scraps and 1/2 lb bedding)
3. Faster composting than sans worms
4. Worms can be used for fishing, or fed to my chickens
5. Can sell extra worms

Really there is no reason not to use worms if your composting. I would love to eventually dig down to great a worm bin. Worm bins dug into the ground a beneficial because it keeps the temperature from fluctuating as much. I also like the look of it. 

I currently use rubbermaid containers, I already had them so it was free!

I bought 1 lb of red wrigglers on ebay, although they can also be found in horse manure... or bought through unclejimswormfarm.com. Although they are found in horse manure you want to be careful not to add to much "hot" compost items into your bin.

If you have any other questions just leave a comment =) Hope you enjoyed!