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Primer: Vermicomposting

Vermicomposting, or vermiculture, is a method of composting that uses worms, either red wigglers or red earthworms, in addition to bacteria, as a catalyst for the decomposition of organic waste. It can occur on a large (tons) or small scale, but it's particularly suited to kitchen composting, where space is limited. To set up a vermicompost, you first must find a bin, anything from a reused plastic bucket to a retailer compost bin, that has holes in the sides to allow air to flow, and a spout that can be opened or closed or holes in the bottom to drain into a collection tray. The type of bin you use will fall into one of three categories: non-continuous (undivided container), continuous vertical flow (vertically stacked trays), or continuous horizontal flow (horizontally stacked trays). To continue the lesson,

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You'll add moist bedding to the bin, such as dried leaves, sawdust, hay or shredded paper, which mimics the worms' natural habitat and serves as a food source. Then, you add the worms to their new digs, and toss in your organic food waste. You can compost practically all of your food waste, aside from animal leftovers, including coffee grounds and filters, tea bags, plate scrapings, rotting fruit, vegetable peels, leftovers, moldy bread, etc. The worms will chew through the material, and their excrement will in essence be a nutrient-rich fertilizer. You can then mix your fertilizer with potting mix at a one-to-four-part mix, and your plants will eat it right up!
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Join The Conversation
stephley stephley 8 years
I've always wanted to do this but just never get around to it - and I compost on my balcony. Maybe this will inspire me to get on it this weekend.
Home Home 8 years
Yes, it can definitely be kept outside.
niny niny 8 years
can it be kept outside or does it have to be indoors? hopefully outside as i don't know if i could handle having worms in my house.
CiaoBella2 CiaoBella2 8 years
I bought a pre-assembled worm bin (worms and soil included) at a local farmer's market this past spring. It is amazing how fast red worms will eat the discarded produce that they're given. Vermicomposting is a great way to teach kids about composting.
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