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Worm Poop For Everyone

July 31, 2011

Vermicompost (composting worm bins) are awesome because you can put to good use all of your fruit and vegetable scraps to feed your worms, so in essence you are never really throwing anything away. These food scraps that would normally be in your trash can stinking up your kitchen are feeding your compost makers. All the while the worms are working hard to make wonderful, nutrient-rich poop that is great for your garden. (All of the brown stuff that the worms are in are the product of the vermicompost system i.e. worm poop, none of it is soil!)

1) Get a large container and drill holes on the top and sides, but not the bottom, to allow for oxygen flow.

You can buy a special vermicompost bin for $100+, but pretty much any old container will work (this is where the ‘cheap’ part of the how-to comes in). You can build a larger colony of worms by stacking multiple containers, in this case you want to drill holes in the bottom of the containers that are not on the lowest level to allow your worms to move freely between them.

2) Save fruit and vegetable scraps, but nothing too acidic like onions or tomatoes. Save the scraps in sealed containers in your fridge to avoid any smell or decay.

3) Save “bedding material”, such as newspaper and cardboard.

4) Acquire worms. The worms can also be a costly part of a vermicompost set-up, so talk to your friends to find out if you can have a few worms from a colony that they have already set up. Another option would be to reach out to your community gardens to see if they have a compost pile that could spare a few worms.

We have two types of worms in our vermicompost, Indian Blue worms and Red Wrigglers. The blue worms eat the fresh food scraps, and the red worms like food that is more broken down, so a mixed colony is best.

Don’t worry if you only have a few worms to start off with, a healthy colony can double its size in 60 days.

5) Layer bin. Create alternating layers of bedding material and foods scraps. Once you get to the top, make your last layer cardboard or a burlap sack to keep your bin moist and your worms happy.

6) After your bin is all set up you want to tend to your worms about once a week, adding food scraps and bedding material as needed. Please be sure not to feed your worms too much, they won’t be able to keep up with it all and you will end up with a stinky box of rotting food. If you set up your bin correctly, there will not be any foul odor, I swear!

7) After your worms have been working hard for some time they will have built up enough compost to make a harvest. When you harvest, be sure to separate the worms from the compost. You can do this by building an isolated pile of fresh food for the worms to migrate to, allowing you to harvest without any casualties.

8) Then you can, incorporate the nutrient and microorganism-rich product to your soil to supply your plants with a boost for growth

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