Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Family Worms

Our family has expanded, and it's not in the way you might think. We are now the proud owners of a tote full of worms-- compost worms, to be specific. Hidden away in a forsaken part of the yard (close to our raised bed) is this:

A bin full of little worker worms whose job it is to make beautiful compost.

Here's how it works: we give them our fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, egg shells (no meat or dairy!). We water them from time to time and give them a shady place to live. Then we cover them up with some newspaper, a plastic top, and let them do their work. Their home is just that plastic tote, which has little holes punched in the bottom.

(right now they're actually covered with an empty tote that has a top and some holes punched in the bottom... which apparently means that in the future we can lure them into the top bin with fresh food scraps in order to harvest the compost from the bottom bin).

In exchange for our kind services, these worms make beautiful compost (and when it rains or we over-water them, there is compost tea that collects in the bin top we keep underneath their home). As you can imagine, it's a huge hit with the little ones and their friends, who think it is *so* cool to have worms. So far, so good. We've composed before, but eventually gave up the habit after attracting our old city neighborhood rats. As of yet, we don't have a rodent problem, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Any tips from others out there who compost with worms? How are we doing, Irene?


Irene said...

You're doing great! I'm so glad my little darlings have found a good home. :) A couple things I forgot to mention in the instruction list:
- they don't like spicy foods
- if you throw in seeds (green pepper, cantalope, etc) they're likely to grow

Happy composting!

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