Monday, September 26, 2011

Vermicomposting Excitement!

Finally, what you've all been waiting for:  an update on my vermicomposting adventure!

Today I harvested the dirt from my vermicompost bin.  I did not expect to be so amazed at what I discovered!  Those worms are power eaters!  Many times during the summer I threw my compostable scraps in the garbage because I was worried that the worms were getting overloaded but today when I dumped out the entire Rubbermaid bin and started separating worms and dirt and materials that had not broken down, I was really impressed to find out that the only uncomposted materials in the bin were a few rotten tomatoes and apple cores I put in there this week, some cherry pits, and a couple of corn cobs. 

We put so many food scraps in there this summer and it was absolutely gratifying to see that it had all turned into incredibly fertile soil that I can use to kick start next summer's gardening adventures!  This composting experiment was a HUGE success and I would highly recommend it to anyone who's ever thought about trying it, looking for a way to compost without creating smell or requiring a large corner of your backyard, or just as a way to use up kitchen scraps so your garbage can doesn't smell as much.  Seriously - all you need is a Rubbermaid bin with some holes cut in it for air and a spot with a temperature greater than 5 Celcius the majority of the time (so basements/garages should work well).  It's an awesome way to turn kitchen scraps into incredibly rich, natural fertilizer you can use on your lawn, garden, house plants, etc.!

Since the worms multiply, every few months when you separate out the dirt it's probably time to also give away half of the remaining worms to a friend, so it's great for starting conversations about ways to reduce food and yard waste in a city with no convenient composting program.  What a totally awesome, no-downside initiative.

My worms are ready to separate into 2 or 3 new bins - if you're interested in starting your own vermicomposter (and live in Saskatoon) let me know!  I'll hook you up with some worms and help you get started.

My vermicomposter, ready to be harvested.  Yes, something is growing in there - I think it's so fertile that even though it's totally dark, the seeds from a lot of the things I throw in start sprouting... until the worms eat the new sprouts.

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