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Why would anyone want 5,000 worms in their kitchen?

November 15, 2010

While I was shooting the rain barrels story with Mike Heimos, he mentioned another interesting way to go green: Vermicomposting – using worms to compost food materials.

I was a little nervous as he reached into a bin full of worms, but his toddler nephew didn’t seem to mind the crawlers so I figured I could handle it.  A little skeptically, I decided to let Mike tell me about  this unusual way of composting.

Surprisingly, it was fascinating. Who knew that 5,000 worms could fit into a tiny little box? I had no idea that someone could keep thousands of worms underneath their kitchen sink just to get rid of their food scraps. How many rotten banana peels, apple cores, or old heads of lettuce do we throw away without thinking about it?  With a vermicomposting bin, those leftovers turn into organic soil that’s great for plants.

Here are a few more things to remember when making your bin:

  1. When first putting your worms in the bin, shine a bright light over the bin. This imitates the sun and lets the worms know to sink down in the compost.  If you don’t keep a light over them for 24 hours, the worms won’t know which way to go and could escape from the sides of the bin.
  2. Keep in mind, the worms should be in an area with a 55-77 degree temperature.
  3. Digging up worms from your front yard doesn’t quite work. You can get red wrangler worms from a “worm dealer.” The dealer can mail the worms directly to your house.  You can also contact Mike Heimos with the city of Columbia’s Public Works at 573-874-7250.
  4. Keep a worm to garbage ratio of  2:1. If you plan on having one pound of garbage per day, plan on having two pounds of worms in the bin.

Have you made a vericompost bin before? Share with us your experience and tips in the comments below.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 15, 2010 1:31 pm

    If you don’t have 5,000 worms to start with, add a handful of sand or crushed eggshells. The worms need this grit to reproduce.

    • AdnanSKhan permalink
      November 17, 2010 12:28 pm

      I am the editor for 8 Goes Green blog and I would like to thank you for your tip. We at 8 Goes Green are always looking for community members and leaders in sustainability to share their views with us. Please do not hesitate to write to us as we consider your input highly valuable. Thank you.

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