Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Inside your new worm bin

To start a worm bin:

1). Shred a bunch of newspaper or cardboard. Avoid the glossy paper.
The worms need a "browns" as well as "greens" (your veg).

2). Add some soil.
The worms need some grit to help with digestion.

3). Spray with some water until moist, not soggy (worms don't like swimming!)

4). Add your new herd of Red Wiggler worms (new friends!)

When adding fruit and veg, hide the food under the bedding to avoid fruit flies.
Only add raw food scraps from prep, not leftovers.
Limit citrus (makes the environment too acidic)
Mouldy fruit/veg is ok, worms like to eat it!
The smaller the pieces, the faster you get compost, so cut things up

If bedding dries out, spray with a bit more water.
More likely, if it's getting damp, add some more dry newspaper shreds and leave the bin open for a while to breathe a bit. You can also add more airholes.

**Worms can eat 1/2 their body weight in food each day.
**Start slow and if you start seeing moisture/mould, stop feeding for a while or feed less.

Here's how mines looking after about 2 weeks:

I've been having problems with moisture under my cabinet so when I'm cooking, I just leave the bin open.  I'm already seeing sneaky bits of lovely compost!  It really is quite magical.  Makes you not fear death so much, either.  All those decomposing nutrients can get reused, rebuilt into new, growing beauty.  A fascinating process, composting.  I highly recommend this, even if you just have a tiny bin.  Gives you wonderful perspective on a process happening all the time under your feet in that boring, inert "dirt" you stand on all day.  Well, under that concrete more likely...

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