Dirty Little Clean Living Secret #3: The Wormy Bin.

We go through a lot of fresh food each week – fruits, vegetables, eggs, herbs and so on. Obviously, eating fresh is cleaner for our bodies and the environment but it does result in a bit of kitchen waste. Banana peels, watermelon rinds, carrot shavings… it adds up. But this organic matter is 100% reusable with vermicomposting.

Scrrreeeeeaach!

Vermi-wha? Vermicomposting. A worm bin.

When Hub first mentioned making one of these bad boys, all I could think about was Archibald and his worm babies from Yo Gabba Gabba.

I’m pretty sure my arms flailed just like Brobee’s when I first saw our worm babies in the wormy bin.

But it really isn’t gross or smelly or like anything I had imagined.

Here’s how it works. We bought the worms from Kachina Farms through our coop. Hub got a big plastic tub with a lid and drilled 12 holes on the bottom.  For  bedding, he mixed shredded cardboard, newspaper and peat moss and got it all moist and worm-friendly. We store our bin in the back corner of the yard in a nice and shady spot so they kids don’t interfere with the worms and their business.

I have a medium plastic food storage container that kitchen waste gets tossed in throughout the day. The worms love egg shells, toast crust, banana peels and coffee grinds (I guess they need a caffeine fix, too). Cantaloupe is their favorite but watermelon is too much for them. Vermicomposters far wiser than I don’t recommend putting meat or loads of citrus in the bin. Not sure why, but I’m a rule follower. If it gets smelly, cut back on how much waste your putting in the bin.

After a few months of feeding the worms, they’ll produce castings and that cardboard mixture will have been turned into a dark, nutrient-dense fertilizer that can be used in your organic garden.

With traditional composting, you rely on the bacteria in the soil to decompose the waste. Compost tumblers can be expensive and heavy. With vermicomposting, the worms do most of the legwork (ba-dum-dum, cha!) and speed along the process.

E thinks the worms are awesome and loves to go with Hub to “feed the wormies.” She finds them far more entertaining than Pete the Fish who has been hanging out, ignored, for months. Thankfully, she hasn’t tried to name the worms because there are about 500 of them in our bin. Yikes.

Do you compost? Any compost secrets or tricks?

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