Saturday, March 11, 2017

10 Things I learned from a year of composting with worms

I've been vermicomposting for just over a year now and honestly it is great. Although I like having a compost bin in the back yard this is way more convenient and a lot easier than people think. There are a lot of great resources out there for people who want to start up but these are a few things I have learned in the past year that I didn't necessarily know before starting.

  1. People will think you are crazy. Not just a little crazy like insane crazy. The kind of crazy that keeps "pet" worms. Not everyone understands why in the world you would keep worms in your house. No they are not my pets, no they do not stink, and no I am not crazy. Once you explain it people are generally pretty interested and slightly embarrassed they thought you were that lonely that you needed pet worms.

  1. Boy can those little guys eat! Once you have them established it is amazing how much old waste they can divert.

  1. Fruit flies are NOT the end of the world. Despite what people say fruit flies are not the end of the world and they are quiet easy to get rid of. First don't feed the worms anymore until the fruit flies are gone. Second put a fruit fly trap in your worm bin. Place a small container of apple cider vinegar, covered with Saran Wrap and a couple small holes in the top. Let this sit for about a week clean your trap out and repeat. It shouldn't take long to get rid of them.

  1. If you try to compost seed/pits/tubers they will grow. I often find things growing in my worm bin. They aren't any concern but it can be a surprise to open your worm bin and realize you started accidentally started growing an avocado.

  1. You don't even notice them when cared for correctly. No smell or anything as long as they are fed the right things and not to

  1. They are quiet prolific. They start out small so you hardly notice but when they are happy they reproduce quiet quickly.

  1. You don't have to pay a fortune for them. Some people try to charge you an arm and a leg for these worms. Alberta is especially bad but if you look on Kijiji (especially in Saskatchewan) there are some for a very reasonable price. If you are lucky you can also find people looking to pay it forward and do something good for the environment. I got my most recent worm bin from an urban farm in Saskatoon. DEI Gardens were a great resource and I would highly recommend them (you can find them on Facebook).

  1. As advertised the "worm juice"/castings are fantastic fertilizer. I used it diluted in the water I gave some seedlings and they absolutely took off.

  1. Keep your egg shells. Rinse out your egg shells and keep them (within reason) they are great for starting seedlings and when crunched up can be used to keep your bin from getting to acidic.

  1. Making your own bin is easy. 2 rubber made containers some holes and a lid is really all you need.

They are a fantastic way of keeping waste out of the land fills. By watching what I used, recycling, and composting I was able to get my household garbage down to a grocery bag every two weeks.

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