Consider letting worms eat your garbage. It’s called vermiculture, or composting with worms. Vermiculture is a great way to compost your kitchen waste. It’s easy, doesn’t smell, it doesn’t need turning and the resulting compost is some of the best fertilizer around. You only need a few things; a bin, worms, worm bedding and worm food.

The worm bin can be purchased or homemade. It only needs to be about a foot deep because composting worms feed at the top. It should have a lid to keep fruit flies in and rodents out. There should be holes in the bottom for drainage. Compost worms like moderate temperatures.. Place it in a garage, basement or laundry room. A rough estimate of bin size is one square foot of surface area per pound of food waste per week

The worms are the variety Eisenia fetida, commonly called Red Worms or Red Wigglers. They are not the earthworms we find in our yards. Red Wigglers like a warmer environment, thrive in confinement, reproduce quickly and are voracious eaters. Composting worms are sold by the pound and one pound is all you need to get started. Find a friend that will share some worms to get started.

The worm bedding is simple shredded paper, either white or newsprint. Dampen it to the consistency of a wrung out sponge. A little soil for grit and there you have the bedding. The worms will also eventually decompose the paper, so occasionally new paper will need to be added. Bedding should be placed over the food that is added to the bin to help eliminate insect and odor problems.

Worm food is similar to what we’d put in our regular compost pile. Vegetable scraps, fruit peelings, bread, tea bags and coffee grounds. Go ahead and throw the filter in, too. Crushed eggshells are also a good addition. Avoid meat, bones, fats, and dairy products. Start feeding the worms a little at a time. As they multiply, you can add larger amounts of organic material. Like I mentioned earlier, place the food underneath the top layer of shredded paper that is being used for bedding.

I composted with worms for about 7 years and it was trouble free. My bin was a 10-gallon plastic tub that I kept in my garage summer and winter. There were drainage holes in the bottom and two holes cut into each side for ventilation that were about the size of a quarter. Screen was glued over the holes.  I used a large tray to catch liquid that drained out, and it will so be prepared

This is a fun, quirky hobby that will give you great fertilizer, too. Give it a try!

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