Vermicomposting can be a lot of fun, especially if you have kids. Not interested in getting a dog or cat as a pet? Then consider worms! They really are incredible creatures.
Earthworms are natures expert recyclers. They eat all kinds of dead plants and animals underground and turn it into a rich soil. An Earthworm can eat organic matter that weighs as much as it does.
One type of Earthworm that we are familiar with here at Peterborough Green-Up is called a Red Wiggler. Red Wigglers are red/brown and some can be striped, they are thin like a string, are about 2-5 inches long, and they live near the Earth's surface like under leaves or in manure piles. They are also incredibly talented composters. We use Red Wigglers in our vermicomposter in the office. They make up the best darn compost in these parts of town!
To create a vermicomposting system you will need a vermicomposting bin, bedding that the worms can live in and eat; this could include newspaper cut into small strips and a mixture of grass clippings or dry leaves with no chemicals on them. And you will need about 1/2 lb of Red Wigglers. A great source of food to feed them would be fruit and vegetable peelings, coffee grounds, tea bags, egg shells, bread, oatmeal, dried leaves and composted manure. Bad food to feed them are dairy products, meat and bones and pet poop.
One of the main reasons for having a vermicomposter in your home is to use the compost that the worms create for your gardens or starting seeds. You can harvest the compost in the bin by dumping all of the contents onto a big plastic sheet and remove the worms by hand. Be sure to watch for worm cocoons or tiny hatchlings. Put them all back in the bin with fresh bedding and food.
If you are interested in starting a vermicomposter of your own we are hosting a series of workshops this month. Unfortunately, they are completely full. If you would like to get started please contact us and we can see what we can do to accommodate your schedule to get you started this winter.