Vermiculture

firelilyfirelily Registered Users Posts: 1,298
Does anyone here practice vermiculture (aka worm composting)?

It seems easier than regular composting, and also makes sense for my very small, concrete city yard (we do have a garden though). Worms gross me out, but I really want to take my lifestyle to the next level of environmental consciousness. I think composting would be a great way to do that.

What has been your experience with it?
Lots and lots of fine 3b-ish hair.
DevaCurl currently, but exploring new products.
Love the hair!

Comments

  • SnarlsSnarls Registered Users Posts: 2,537
    OK, straight off, I have not done it. But I love worms! And the whole idea really appeals to me. My life just isn't organized enough right now to tackle the initial set up. I've even stopped my regular composting. I think the key is to set everything up properly and have a system to keep it going. I know you can buy a multiple tray box, or you can make your own, I guess. Worms are so cool!
    formerly Castella
    (my dogs aren't snarly, my hair is)
  • firelilyfirelily Registered Users Posts: 1,298
    :lol:

    I've found a multi-tiered bin online for around $80, plus worms are another $20. From there, it seems pretty easy. Just throw organic waste in, monitor it a little, then use the liquid waste, and eventually enough solid compost will build up for my garden next year. Or maybe I'm oversimplifying it?
    Lots and lots of fine 3b-ish hair.
    DevaCurl currently, but exploring new products.
    Love the hair!
  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Registered Users Posts: 31,259 Curl Connoisseur
    I'm not doing it yet, but I'm currently researching on how to make compost, and I'll be very willing to add worms...love worms. I have a lot of yard waste that I want to deal with, but I don't want to spend a lot of money for a pre-made compost bin. Some of them can run upwards of $300-$500. Yikes!
  • SnarlsSnarls Registered Users Posts: 2,537
    There was a local woman who was really into it. REALLY into it! :lol: She did a little county publication and for a while, the county publicized that it sold worm bins as well as compost bins (they sell these once a year). But I was never able to get one, they never actually had them, which was disappointing. Anyway, she said it's kind of like having pets that you don't have to exercise or do anything, really, except feed stuff that you usually throw out. I think you have to watch the temperature (she kept them in the basement) and the liquid level, and then as they eat everything on one tray, you put food on the next tray and they move over. I seem to recall that they love melon rinds. Yes, can you tell that I am fascinated by the whole thing? I can just imagine putting a melon rind down and a bunch of worms "racing" over to chow down! I also remember something about layers of moist newspaper.

    My eco-project for the summer is to get and install a rain barrel, which are now available from my county (it's a little cheaper than buying from a retailer). And I've put Mr. Castella in charge of this project, so it might actually happen!
    formerly Castella
    (my dogs aren't snarly, my hair is)
  • internetchickinternetchick Registered Users Posts: 6,191
    firelily wrote:
    ... plus worms are another $20...

    You paid $20 for worms? All I have to do is wait for it to rain and there are worms everywhere :lol:
  • hobbshobbs Registered Users Posts: 327
    The apartment I'm moving into has a vermiculture box thing that one of my new roommates takes care of. I'm not sure on the details, as I'm not moved in yet and haven't actually met her, but I can get back to you on this in a week or so! I like the idea of it.
  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Registered Users Posts: 31,259 Curl Connoisseur
    I just found these instructions online. I think I might set one of these up outside my kitchen door so I can easily dump veggie scraps into it:

    http://whatcom.wsu.edu/ag/compost/Easywormbin.htm
  • SnarlsSnarls Registered Users Posts: 2,537
    The worms that you get aren't regular earthworms. They're red wrigglers, I think. Anyway, they're smaller than nightcrawlers and they process scraps very efficiently and produce a wonderful "soil." Also, you need a lot of them.

    I don't think you can put your worms in a compost pile, because compost is supposed to reach a very high heat in order to kill bacteria and weed seeds (and odor, finished compost should be odorless). You have to have the right combination of brown (dead leaves for instance) and green (fresh grass clippings), it should be layered and mixed regularly. The most efficient way I found to make compost was to combine old horse manure (that falls into the brown category) with pelleted alfafa (green). Within a few hours, the pile would literally be smoking. Even then, it would take months to be done, and turning it or mixing it is always a hassle. Those revolving bins are nice but $$$! Come on! It's COMPOST!

    Most people just toss scraps and stuff in the compost willy-nilly. That never worked for me, but at least it isn't going into landfill.

    Oh, if you aren't using an enclosed plastic bin, and you are disgarding food scraps...watch out for rodents, racoons etc!
    formerly Castella
    (my dogs aren't snarly, my hair is)
  • sariroosariroo Registered Users Posts: 1,958 Curl Neophyte
    I have a gardening friend who is very big into her red wigglers. I even tease her that she probably names them. She actually got them free from a friend...she just had a handful to start out with but they have been fruitful and multiplied so much that she has a huge Rubbermaid tub to contain them now. She even gave me some to take to my mom who is also a prolific flower gardener.

    They really are easy. To get them started you soak some shredded newspaper in water overnight and wring it out in the morning and put them in a small tub with the newspaper until you have kitchen scraps (same type of stuff you would put in a regular compost pile) to give them. They love coffee grounds and egg shells. You can rig up your own containers which would cost much less than what you posted you saw online.

    The thing about the worms is that they want an even temperature similar to your house so you can't really put them outside all year round unless you live in a moderate climate (we don't).

    I know one of the recent Martha Stewart magazines had an article on worm composting...maybe the April issue. My friend is so knowledeable about them that she could probably answer any questions you have.
    316vq4y.jpg
  • firelilyfirelily Registered Users Posts: 1,298
    Castella wrote:
    My eco-project for the summer is to get and install a rain barrel, which are now available from my county (it's a little cheaper than buying from a retailer). And I've put Mr. Castella in charge of this project, so it might actually happen!

    I want a rain barrell too, but I don't know if that will happen this summer. In the meantime, I'm trying to use excess water from cooking veggies & pasta as much as possible to water my garden.
    Lots and lots of fine 3b-ish hair.
    DevaCurl currently, but exploring new products.
    Love the hair!
  • firelilyfirelily Registered Users Posts: 1,298
    Castella wrote:
    I don't think you can put your worms in a compost pile, because compost is supposed to reach a very high heat in order to kill bacteria and weed seeds (and odor, finished compost should be odorless). You have to have the right combination of brown (dead leaves for instance) and green (fresh grass clippings), it should be layered and mixed regularly. The most efficient way I found to make compost was to combine old horse manure (that falls into the brown category) with pelleted alfafa (green). Within a few hours, the pile would literally be smoking. Even then, it would take months to be done, and turning it or mixing it is always a hassle. Those revolving bins are nice but $$$! Come on! It's COMPOST!

    I think you're also not supposed to put the red wrigglers outside in soil, as I read they're an invasive species. Better to keep them contained.

    Sariroo - thanks for the info! After some research, I think I'll end up just making my own bin. I know I'll have to keep them inside for our New England winter, so I'm coming to terms with having worms in the house. I wonder if I can post on freecycle or something asking for some spare worms. :lol:
    Lots and lots of fine 3b-ish hair.
    DevaCurl currently, but exploring new products.
    Love the hair!

Leave a Comment

BoldItalicStrikethroughOrdered listUnordered list
Emoji
Image
Align leftAlign centerAlign rightToggle HTML viewToggle full pageToggle lights
Drop image/file