My sister inspires me. All the time. Every trip to her house fills my head with ideas I want to try at my house. She is always learning new things and trying new things, and it’s fun. As an example, my sister has a worm farm in her basement. Doesn’t that make you want to go, “What?” I know. But anyway, she has this wonderful composting unit in her basement made out of plastic bins. (Go here to learn how to make your own!)
She of course, showed me how they set their system up and explained about how to keep worms happy. My sister’s goal in life is to keep living things happy. She does a pretty good job at it, if I say so myself! Anyway, her composting idea stuck in my head. I started reading about vermicomposting online ( Click here to learn more about vermicomposting than you probably ever wanted to know!), and decided I wanted to start raising worms. The catch was that I didn’t want to use my basement, because, well, I don’t go down there. Ever.
I don’t have a lot of extra space in my house that would accommodate a vermi-composting bin using the plastic bins like my sister’s, so I started looking at factory-made units. You know, to fancy them up a bit. 😉 I found these:
Of course, I showed my husband, who laughed and couldn’t think that raising worms in our kitchen was very appealing, but wouldn’t you know, the man (and my daughter) bought a Worm Factory for me for Mother’s Day!! (complete with two pounds of worms!!) I’m so glad he doesn’t listen to the ads that say “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend.” I digress.
We set it up in a corner of our kitchen, and after I learned how not to suffocate and nearly drown them, our worms have been busy eating and pooping and having crazy happy worm sex.
The first thing people ask is if it stinks. My husband, who is very sensitive to odors, real and imaginary, doesn’t complain. You really don’t smell anything when you have happy worms!! The second thing that people ask is “Why?” My response is usually, “Why not?” I find it silly to put compostable stuff in the garbage. Once you have happy worms, they will eat through quite a bit in a short time. Do you know the product of that?? Worm poop. Other people call it dirt. Good, rich, black dirt.
Because it took a bit for my worms to be happy, it took a bit before I was able to harvest any of the
worm poop dirt. But last weekend, I got a five-pound bucket full of the stuff!! It was enough to fill two planters and two small planters with some left over!! Beautiful indoor plants, here we come!
So, what have I learned about vermi-composting?
- too much newspaper can suffocate worms
- too much water can drown worms
- if I have compost with lots of liquid (like watermelon rinds and such) I need to go halvsies with shredded cardboard.
- worms will eat the ink and the paper off of the shiny paper shreds from advertising leaving behind what looks like unsticky Scotch tape!
- it’s easy
- it doesn’t smell!
Since I need to use up cardboard, paper and kitchen scraps, none of that is going in to my garbage!! It is completely re-usable, which is a good thing.
(This is not a paid endorsement. It’s just something I like.)