Vermicomposting

Worms live in converted Rubbermaid totes and gobble up a 1/2 pound of garbage a day.

I have seven worm bins going to keep up with all of the kitchen waste and cardboard that a household of five produces. A pound of worms can tackle a half pound of organic waste each day, resulting in tons of beautiful compost. My worms also handle all of the grape pressings and some of the spent grain from the homebrewing process. Recyclables such as cardboard boxes, junk mail, and egg cartons also go in, which cuts down on the bulk of my recycling system. All of the rabbit poop also goes in, which magically disappears almost overnight. During most of the year the tote boxes with the worm colonies live in the greenhouse. The resulting worm castings are mixed in with my existing potting soil each spring, which recharges it with nutrients and keeps me from having to buy new soil each year.

Worms can be kept in the kitchen at all times as well, they are not smelly and can fit in a cabinet. There are a lot of expensive worm bin systems out there, but they are very happy in a Rubbermaid tote with some 1/16th inch drainage holes drilled in the bottom and sides. I feed my worms the kitchen scraps that the chickens won’t eat at the end of the day, which usually includes citrus peels, onions, and really hard stale bread. This is layered with some potting soil which is needed as “grit”, eggshells for calcium, rabbit poop, and cardboard for bedding. A healthy colony will keep producing new worms which can be split into other bins or sold. I usually have worms for sale, $10 for 1/2 a pound.

The three worm bins on the floor of the greenhouse.

The worms eat all of the paper bags, egg cartons, junk mail, and cardboard from the recycling.

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