I stopped by the office Sunday to check on the ducklings we hatched on 4-H Embryology EGG Cam (they are adorable!). After feeding the ducks, I popped into my office and checked my voicemail. One message – “Hi! I’d like some help getting started with vermicomposting!” Well, yes ma’am! We can help you with that! And, I love sharing the story of worms and compost!
Vermicomposting is the process of composting using worms – specifically redworms or “red wigglers” (Eisenia foetida). Vermicomposting can be done year-round and is another way you can reduce the amount of waste being sent to the landfill.
Vermicomposting bins have been kept in apartments, homes, businesses and schools. I’ve had a vermicomposting bin in my home for many years. We don’t have a garbage disposal and I didn’t want to throw green waste away. I also wanted a way I could compost year-round. Plus, it was a great activity for the entire family – everyone eats, everyone contributes!
My vermicomposting bin is kept under the kitchen sink! You may be cringing and initially, I had my doubts too! I thought I’d have all sorts of issues but I quickly found out when a bin is well-cared for, it is very low maintenance. My bins have never smelled “bad” (the smell is like freshly turned soil in the spring) and I never had a problem with pests getting into the bin. My bin isn’t large and is a bit bigger than a shoe box – think sweater box size. The bedding for the worms is shredded newspapers. The food? Non-fatty kitchen scraps. The redworms eat the bedding and the kitchen scraps, the resulting compost makes an amazing soil amendment.
Redworms are used because they are well-suited to a small bin kept at room temperatures. Because these worms are not native in Nebraska, we have to order them or try to find a bait shop selling redworms to fishermen.
If you’d like to try your hand, check out “Vermicomposting”