A friend asked me the other day what I fed my worms. When I explained that they got most of our kitchen produce scraps she wanted specifics, so I decided I would let all my readers know through pictures.
Vermicomposting is a green way of getting rid of your kitchen scraps. It is quicker than composting and can be done on a smaller scale indoors.
First, I checked the worms. They looked healthy and happy.
Next I added some romaine lettuce that had gone smushy.
Then, four ears of corn that had been pushed to the back of the fridge, forgotten about, and gone soft.
Finally, I added the contents of my counter compost bin. This included some moldy raspberries, old bean sprouts, a tomato from the garden with a soft spot, a tea bag, and some vegetable peelings that were almost a week old and unrecognizable.
Before I closed the bin, I added bedding. Our trees drop leaves all year round,
so naturally this is never a problem for us.
No, I’m not talking about oil. I’m referring to the worm castings I harvested yesterday! After picking up some plants from Freecycle I decided to give them a jumpstart in their new home by cleaning out a layer in my worm bin. The bottom layer had a abundance of the dark, rich organic matter.
The bottom worm bin
To separate the worms, I put the tray in the sun. The worms dislike light and they dug down into the layer. After about 20 minutes I removed the top inch which had few worms in it. Another twenty minutes later almost all had crawled through the bottom of the try and into the container I had waiting for them.
Close-up of the “Black Gold”
I took the worm castings and put a tablespoon in with the roots of the new plants. Some of my larger holes got more and the tiny single plants got less. After being planted, the plants got a good soaking and the lucky ones got mulch (the mulch ran out halfway though the project). The castings will fertalize the plants and help acclimate them to their new homes.
My worms love to eat. I can feed them every other day or once a week or less and they don’t care, as long as they still have food left to eat. To help people see how much they can eat, I decided to document what happened between feedings. I took pictures on two dates about 20 days apart.
Continue reading “Feeding Frenzy Worm Style”
What am I?
- My babies look like very small versions of me.
- I love moisture (80-90%), but I also require oxygen.
- For my home, area is most important. I don’t care so much about the height of my ceilings.
- My eggs look like tiny straw-colored lemons
- One pound of my friends and I usually contains 1000 individuals.
- I can significantly reduce levels of pathogens in waste materials, such as biosolids (gross sludge from waste treatment plants).
Did you guess? I am a red wiggler worm, Eisenia fetida. I am used to vermicompost, which is the breakdown of organic wastes using yours truly, worms. Other microorganisms do most of the work, and I eat the microbes and protozoans. When you feed me organic waste, I make compost that can provide essential nutrients, stimulate growth, and help suppress disease in your plants. My home doesn’t smell and as a pet, I’m cheap to feed and don’t make any noise.
A home can be made or bought for me. There are a ton of designs if you surf the ‘net! I’m a surface dweller, so I prefer shallower bins or stacked bins for me to travel up to the food. In my home I like to have bedding such as leaf compost or manure. To feed me, just put your fruit and vegetable scraps in my bin and cover them with bedding. Although my 999 friends and I can eat a pound of food in a day, to keep my bin from getting yucky it might be better if you stick with a quarter to a half a pound per day. I also like coffee grounds, tea bags with the staple removed and adding eggshells can help stimulate my reproduction.
Check back at koofie.com for more vermicomposting information, pictures and products in the future.