Worms eat my garbage!

I have 1000 new best friends and they eat my garbage!

We just received our Wriggly Wranch worm bin from San Mateo County Recycle works. Our county (along with many others) have a composting and worm bin program. You can order bins at a subsidised price which is pretty cool. Ours was $29 and we paid an extra $5 for the "Worms eat my garbage" book so we can learn how to take care of these little buggers.

What is a worm composting you ask?

In a nutshell, the worms eat your food scraps and turn them into fertilizer for your garden and plants. Its pretty much like regular composting except on a smaller scale and worms do all the work. They poop out "castings" which is a very rich manure.

How do I use this worm manure?

There are several ways to use the castings

1. Sprinkle it around your plants and veggies straight out of the worm bin
2. Mix directly into your soil
3. Make a "tea" out of it to water your plants

Why is it so great?

- Improves and enriches your soil
- Enhances plant growth and crop yield
- Improves root growth
- Reduces amount of stuff you are sending to landfills (soooo ecofriendly!!)
- It pretty much will make your garden awesome and its easy!

Is it really THAT easy??

We just set up our worm bin today and it was really simple (well, at least so far it seems that way)

How do you set it up?

Here we are with our worms. We purchased them from Sloat Garden Center in San Bruno. Each container holds at least 300 worms and costs $14.99. To get the bin started you need about 1000 worms. We can always add more later if we want to speed up the factory :)

Our worm bin came with a block of "coir" which is the outside part of coconut shells. It makes for great worm bedding plus its ecofriendly. We had to soak the block in a bucket of water for 15 min. It rehydrates and expands to 3 times its size. After that you spread it out in the bottom tray of the bin. As you can see my worm farming assistant is doing a fabulous job.

After adding the coir we dumped the worms in. The are super wriggly! I thought I would be freaked out but wasn't at all (until H tried to throw one on me. Eeekk!). They pretty much don't like light so immediately burrowed into the bedding.

Next come the food scraps. I have been collecting these over the past week. Apparently the worms will eat them faster if the scraps are in smaller pieces so I chopped them up a bit then we sprinkled them on top of the worms. Its important to not overfeed the worms at first so, as you can tell there isn't a ton of food for them right off the bat. Once they get accustomed to their new environment we can add more during each feeding.

The final step in setting up the bin is to cover the scraps with shredded newspaper and put on the lid. This will keep the light out (worms love the dark) and cut down on potential odors and discourages fruit flies.

Its important to keep the bin in an area where it wont get to much heat (over 90 degrees) and also is sheltered from rain. Worms don't swim. We put ours on the deck outside the kitchen. Its protected from the elements plus convenient for feeding.

Now...we wait. Boooo. I hate waiting. But, it does take some time for the worms to start breaking down the scraps and producing castings for us.

Pretty much all we will do for now is keep an eye on them to monitor how fast they are eating the scraps then add more as necessary. Once they get in full swing the worms will eat at least 1 lb of scraps per week.

What do they eat?

Fruit: apples, pears, banana peels, strawberries, peaches, and all melons
Veggies: beans, cabbage, celery, carrots, cucumbers, all greens, corn/cobs and squash
Cereal and grains: oatmeal, pasta, rice, non sugared breakfast cereal, corn meal, pancakes
Misc: coffee filter paper, tea bags, egg shells, dead flowers, newspaper, cardboard, paperboard, paper egg cartons and brown leaves
Do not feed: meat, poultry, fish, dairy, junk food, citrus (is toxic to worms), non-biodegradable items like plastic, sponges, foil, dog and cat feces.

I will keep you all updated on the progress of our bin. Im very excited about this. Its our first step to making our house more ecofriendly plus all the cool kids are doing it. Its soooo 2009.

Are you going to get one?

1 comment:

  1. I started a makeshift compost pile a few weeks ago. I'm not sure if I'm doing it correctly. We'll see.