Worm composting is simple and effective. Â All it takes is some time and a little space. You can do it in an apartment or a house. Â It doesn't stink and its not messy.
Who cares? Â Why do it? Â There are many reasons. Â
First, it reduces the amount of garbage going into landfills or incinerators, and that's a good thing. Â Land is too valuable to use indiscriminently, and the less we use to hide garbage the better. Â Burning waste costs money, pollutes and if you believe in global warming it contributes to that problem. Â We probably won't get away from either practice anytime soon, but reducing our dependence on them would save money and the environment.
Worm composting enhances soil through the addition of worm castings. Â Worm castings have lots of nutrients and are said tobe much more nutritous than other natural fertilizers. Â
Good soil means that you can grow more food for yourself. Â Don't want to do that? You don't have to. Â Someone else will. Â Food security and localfood sourcing are becoming very popular. We see community gardens turning up anywhere from vacant lots to City Hall. Â If we don't garden because we're too busy or aren't green thumbs, we know people who do. Trade worm castings for fresh home grown tomatoes. Â How can you lose? You turn garbage into homegrown tomatoes. Â
And imagine this: Â if everyone worm composted the way everyone recycles, we'd be reducing our vegetable garbage naturally, and creating tons and tons of worm castings. We could use it to grow vegetables, or spread it on our lawns. Â
So, now that we see the benefits, how do you start? Its pretty easy. Â You can buy kits and worms on the internet, locally off Craiglist, and from some garden supply stores. Â You can also make the composters. Â I used a large Rubbermaid container, about 18" wide by 36" long by 16" deep. I bought some worms off Craiglist, threw them in with some rotting vegetables, and let the whole thing rip. Â I started with them in the garage, but it wa a little cold (approaching or dropping below freezing) so I moved them into my basement. Â They're doing great. The composter doesn't smell, and I throw everything in.
One thing to remember is that you need a mich of vegetable matter and carbon. Â For carbon I use sawdust from my shop, but you an use dry leaves, paper or other sources. Â Its also important to keep the composter moist, but not too wet. Â The key is to get the stuff to deteriorate. Â The guy who sold me the worms Â explained that its not the rotting vegetables and carbon that the worms live on, but the rotting mass and mixture. In other words, they don't have mouths full of tiny teeth tearing up the lettuce leaves. Â They process it once its broken down.
Will any worms work? No. Â You want red wrigglers, the scientific name of which isÂ Eisenia fetida. They are also called red worms, brandling worms and tiger worms. Â Get the right worms, and start today. Its easy, and its the right thing to do.