Last summer I fulfilled a lifetime goal of mine - I started a worm bin. The fancy term for it is vermicomposting (composting with worms). But start a worm bin, and you can call yourself a worm wrangling, extra green, saver of the world. Composting with worms is much like a backyard compost pile, but the presence of the worms speeds up the process and creates a very fertile outcome - worm castings (poo).
What You Need to Get Started
It's easy to get started with vermicomposting. All you need is:
- A worm bin (nothing special - just an old storage tub with holes drilled in it will do)
- Brown matter (carbon) for the worm bin bedding (shredded newspaper, leaves, small pieces of cardboard).
- Green matter (nitrogen) for the worms to eat (just about any kitchen waste you might produce, with the exceptions of onions and citrus fruits).
- A little bit of water. Worms like the bin to be moist, about the moisture level of a wrung-out sponge.
- Worms. Worm bins need composting worms - not your ordinary earthworms - worms that live in compost piles. Two common worms for vermicomposting are Red Wigglers (Eisenia foetida) or Nightcrawlers (Eisenia hortensis). You can save a few from your local bait shop or order a pound or two from a worm farmer.
Give Worm Wrangling a Try
You can compost with worms anywhere you live. Keep a kitchen bin under the sink, or create a worm bin out of a storage bin that will slide under your bed. Or consider a larger bin that will live under your house or in your garage. Like people, worms need to be protected from too much heat in the summer or too much cold in the winter. Other than that, just feed them every week or so and they'll do the rest!
- Bentley Christie has a passion for vermicomposting and a lot of knowledge that he shares in his blog.
- How to Make Your Own Worm Compost System
- A Social Network for Vermicomposters
- Check out more of my photos here.
About the Author:
Beth Richardson is editor of UpperRoom.org. She writes, watches birds, gardens, and wrangles worms in Nashville, Tennessee.