Any how, you may be wondering why I am talking about worms. Well, I have been wanting to try vermicomposting for years, but I just didn't have the opportunity to get around to it. But when I happened to find a worm factory on Craigslist for 45.00, I quickly snatched it up. That's the square orange containers you see stacked on the left there. (I also made a visit to my local co-op and picked up some broccoli seedlings, seed starter mix to start my seeds, and those buckets were less than a dollar a piece!)
I'm not the best at turning my compost, so I figured this is the second best way to make use of my food scraps. I'll let the worms do all the work. I love that the lid has instructions on how and what to feed the worms. And vermicompost, or worm poop as I like to call it, is SO great for your plants!!! I've purchased it from my local co-op and seen amazing results. Well, now I'll be able to have my own. I'm looking forward to starting my worm factory indoors in the laundry room. What's that? Will it smell? Not if you do it properly. I have a gardening friend that keeps her worm factory in her living room (yup...she's got a fancy decorative looking one), and no one believes it's a worm factory until she shows them! I will eventually move my worm factory outdoors into a shady spot (so I don't cook my worms) once it warms up just a bit more.
I'll be taking pictures to do a step-by-step blog post on how I set up the worm factory, so don't worry if you want to try and this and don't know how. But that comes later after I order the worms!
In case you are wondering what worms like to eat, here's a list:
- all vegetables (table and preparation scraps, peels, and veggies that are past their prime)
- all fruits (table scraps, peels, and cores...but be careful to avoid large amounts of citrus)
- starches (pancakes, pasta, rice, pizza crusts, cereal, crackers, stale bread)
- "healthy" snacks: coffee grounds and filters, crushed egg shells, tea bags (without staples), dead flowers and plants (non-diseased), leaves, and plant trimmings.
The only thing you have to be sure to do is chop up their food into tiny pieces to make it easy for them to eat.
The next thing you may be wondering is "can I just dig up worms from my yard to put in the bin?"
The answer to that is no. The reason is because the worms in your garden are earthworms. The type of worms you need for vermicomposting are called manure worms, or red wigglers (if you fish). Here's a great article on selecting worms for your worm bin. Oh, and Uncle Jim's Worm Farm is a great place to order your worms online (I have friends that have ordered from them and are very happy with their shipments!).
Other than food and the worms, the only other thing you'll need to add to your worm bins is moist newspaper torn into thin strips, or coconut coir, which you can buy from your local nursery. But I'll explain more about that when I actually go through the setup in a later blog post.
Well, I think that's garden gals and guys! I'm looking forward to getting my worms and getting this all set up and sharing it all with you! If you have any questions, feel free to leave comments here on the blog!
Until next time.....