Wednesday, February 25, 2009


This isn't a post about food, but rather about a potential project that I'm considering after I do some more research. A project that could, in theory, lead to delicious food! Vermicomposting is a method of composting kitchen scraps (vegetable trimmings, potato peels, coffee grounds, etc.) indoors, with the aid of our friend the humble worm.

You take a smallish bin (think Tupperware storage, the opaque kind), and after drilling small holes in it, fill it with 'bedding' such as cut up newspaper and corrugated cardboard, the aforementioned kitchen scraps, and worms. Cover with more food and more bedding, add some water, and cover it with a tight-fitting lid.

The worms eat the vegetable material as well as the bedding, and you just keep adding both and occasionally stirring the whole thing around to fluff it up. You have to make sure the worms get enough food, and that there isn't too much or too little water in it, but after a few months, you get a ton of insanely high-quality compost/fertilizer. You separate the worms from the compost, and start all over again.

I grew up in a family who grew a ton of vegetables every spring and summer and composted religiously, but for all of my adult life I have lived in apartments in the city and have felt vaguely guilty every time I throw a piece of celery trimming or potato peel in the garbage. I do have a small area I can grow tomatoes and herbs in, so why not try this to feed my beloved vegetables? I will be looking into it further, and will certainly post about the experience, accompanied by photos if it turns out to be something I can actually do in a bin under my kitchen sink.

Here's what the EPA has to say about it, and here's somebody who is selling a pre-made 'Worm Inn' to do it with.

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