Vermicomposting

 

Read some of the latest research on vermicomposting from Hala Chaoui from Ohio State University here.

For much of the past decade, homeowners, farmers, and solid waste managers have looked with greater interest at the potential of worms to transform "wastes" into beneficial resources. "Vermicomposting" refers to the controlled degradation, or composting, of organic wastes, primarily by earthworm consumption.

Simply throwing worms into the pile after more active composting by bacteria and fungi will no doubt improve the quality of one's compost, but this is not vermicomposting. Bacteria and other microorganisms do contribute to vermicomposting processes, primarily as food for worms. However, it is this deliberate attempt to grow and maintain a large population that distinguishes vermicomposting from other composting methods.

Vermicomposting sounds like a great combination of recycling and soil building. What are the benefits? How do I get started? What do I need for vermicomposting at home or on the farm? What if we have a really big vermicomposting job? If you've been asking yourself these questions, you've come to the right place for the answers.

Benefits of Vermicomposting

Recycle kitchen scraps, landscape residuals, soiled papers
Redworms need very little care
Keeps smelly stuff out of household garbage cans
Redworms naturally aerate compost keeping it odor-free
Save money on garbage costs
Produce large quantities of rich vermicompost
Inoculate soils with beneficial microbes
Increase plant health and yields
Improve plant taste and freshness
Constant supply of fishing worms
Protein for chickens (Don't you keep chickens at home?)
Also food for turtles or lizards

Vermicomposting at Home

The 1990's has seen a tidal wave of interest in all things "recycling." Worm boxes have gained enormous popularity as a method for safely composting food scraps at home.

Popularized by books such as Worms Eat My Garbage and The Worm Book, home vermicomposting is now practiced in more than a million homes throughout North America. The methods for home vermicomposting have been further spread by thousands of volunteer "master composters."

Worm bins for homes, schools, and offices divert thousands of tons of food scraps and other organic debris from landfills and incinerators and are an important tool of solid waste managers. Some local and state governments even subsidize the start-up of home worm bins to support waste diversion.

Check out our T-shirts

Getting Started

1. Start with a worm bin:
It doesn't have to be expensive or fancy - here's a nice plastic bin for home use.

 

 

2. Add "Bedding" and food to the bin:
We recommend wet leaves, newspapers, rabbit manure, straw, coarse sawdust, or aged horse or dairy manure. Then bury the vegetative food scraps in the bedding material.

 

 

 

3. Add Worms:
You'll need one to two pounds of worms for each pound of scraps that you produce each day.


Learn more about Home composting >>>

More on Vermicomposting >>>

  Copyright © 2003 Yelm Earthworm & Castings Farm