Kitchen composting with worms

May 10, 2014 

Many urban farmers use red wiggler worms for composting. In the process, called vermicomposting, the worms ingest kitchen scraps and produce waste that can be used as fertilizer. It can be done indoors with a storage container. Worms can ingest about half their body weight in food each day. Here’s how to start a home worm composting system:

Materials needed to get started: Shredded newspaper; about 1,000 red wigglers or red worms, a type of earthworm; reusable storage container about 6-8 inches deep and wide, and 2 feet long with lid; kitchen scraps (apples, carrots etc.)

How to prepare the worm bin

1 Drill or poke holes in the lid of the storage container, for the worms to breathe.

2 Add a few inches of shredded newspaper bedding to the container; you can also use pieces of cardboard, shredded office paper or paper egg cartons; add the worms and a little bit of organic soil; worms don’t like light, so they will burrow into the bedding.

3 Add about one-half to 1 cup of kitchen scraps at a time; there should never be more than a half-inch of food scraps across the surface area; keep the bin dark and moist; finally, cover the scraps with wet shredded newspaper to avoid odor or flies.

Harvesting the fertilizer

It will take about three to six months before you can harvest the fertilizer; one way of harvesting is to push the worms and compost to one side of the container and lay fresh bedding and food on the other side; the worms will migrate to the fresh side, and the composted matter can be harvested.

Source: Apartment Therapy, Urban Worm Girl, Henry Ford Magazine

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