Thursday, June 3, 2010

Worm Composting: I've Finally Gone and Done It

That's right. I've finally gone out of my noodle and started vermicomposting!

What is vermicomposting, you ask? According to wormwoman.com it is "a system for turning food waste into potting soil with the help of worms."

I know it sounds a little crazy, but indoor worm composting means producing less waste and using fewer plastic garbage bags--two things I really want to do to help the environment. For apartment dwellers, it may also be less likely to annoy your landlord than other composting methods, like the compost tumbler I tried to use, since he or she will probably never know about it.

To create my bin, I bought a few used, plastic bins off of Craigslist and used the following great instructional video by the Compost Guy.



After creating my bin, I started collecting my food scraps in a cut-off milk carton and storing them in the freezer. I also put in an online order for some red wiggler worms to the Compost Guy, the creator of the video.

The worms arrived to my office several days later (my apolgoies to our receptionist!).

When I opened the box, I was happy to see that they were still alive and wriggling around, despite spending a few extra days at the post office due to the rather strange workings of the Chicago postal service.

Once I got my worms home, I added my food scraps to my recently created bin, dumped in the worms, and closed up the bin (all according to the instructions, of course).

And that's it. Now I've got an active vermicomposter that is turning my food waste into soil. It's amazing.

And so far it doesn't smell or have any fruit flies, although, on occasion, it probably will in the future. But that's okay. There is tons of information on the internet on maintaining and troubleshooting worm bins, and working through the problems will be well worth it in the end.

For now though, everything is perfect, and I'm hoping it stays that way, at least for a little while!

(Note: For the small amount of garbage I produce, I use Seventh Generation bags made from 55% recycled plastic).

11 comments:

edmundxwhite said...

i've been reading your blog for a while now and really like it, first time commenting. There is a local woman in Chicago Urban Worm Girl who has supplies as well. I'm considering going to her soon to get my set up. keep up the great work!

BigTex Worms said...

Anyone can go to www.findworms.com to find a local worm farmer to buy worms.
If you come across any challenges, I offer free worm composting advice on my website.
Liz
BigTex Worms
www.wormbincomposting.om

DA said...

Sounds like a lot of composting going on in Chicago! I'm in the city too and just set up my website for vermicomposting supplies. Feel free to check it out:

www.theurbanworm.com

David

Alexandra said...

Cool! Congratulations. I thought these two specials were really interesting. Do you read Fake Plastic Fish? It's one of my favorite blogs.

PlanMyGreen said...

Awesome idea and great video. This is definitely an easy way to help your garden while reducing your waste.

Chris Tries Vermicomposting said...

Hello there! I think I'm off my noodle too! I just started my first attempt at vermicomposting.

How's your bin doing after all these months?

barefoot girl said...

How's the worm composting going? Still smell-free? My hubby isn't on board with me wanting to keep worms in the kitchen cause he thinks it will smell. I'm hoping to convince him to let me give it a shot. I'm worried if I keep a worm bin outside the worms will die.

Tag Graffiti Alphabet! said...

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http://www.blueplanetrecycling.ca

Change Your Life said...

Thanks for the information. I had a vermacomposting bin a few years ago and have been wanting to start another. We've been bringing our compost to my parent's lately, where we've started our family sustainability project. The more composting the better though! We'll do both now that I've read your blog.

Moonbeams and Eco-Dreams said...

Thanks what a great idea! My compost bins are stainless steel garbage cans that are buried 3/4 into the ground. The work great but in the winter it is a pain to trudge all the way out there with every few scraps. Something like this could be great. Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

First time to your blog about less plastic and the first picture is of a plastic bin. Were there no other options for the box other than plastic, even used plastic seem contrary to your goals.