Vermicomposting

Vermicomposting is a method of using worms to transform organic waste into a nutrient-rich fertilizer (via Hunker).

Check out this cute TED ED video on vermicomposting

Here is how we made our bins at our recent Young Farmer meeting.

Step 1: Obtain Bins

We have used kitty litter bins, 5-gallon buckets and (FREE) ice cream bins from Kilwins. Really any TWO buckets that sit nicely together with a lid will work.

Step 2: Drill Holes into the TOP bucket

Drill about 4-6 holes in the lid, on the top rim of the top bucket and the bottom of the top bucket (for drainage to the other bucket). Your top bin will be your farm, the bottom bin is for drainage only.

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Step 3: Add Worm friendly bedding & moisture

Put newspaper cuttings (1/2 inch strips) or shredded paper in the bottom of your top bin. I’ve used both with great success. Take a trip to the front office of school and I bet you’ll find exactly what you need! Spray a small amount of water on your paper to make a moist BUT NOT WET environment for your worms!

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Step 4: Add your worms

We bought our worms from Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm which you can also buy on Amazon. For a class of 25 people we bought 500 worms for about $35. You could buy more a less depending on your situation. Place your worms under your bedding.

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Step 5: Feed the worms

Now that you have a suitable home for your wigglers, feed those babies! You can feed them fresh waste (coffee grounds, tea bags, veggies, fruits,), avoid too much citrus, cooked items and don’t compost meat (it is harder to process and will attract unwanted pests). The more you feed them, the more they will reproduce and the more hard-working composters in your farm.

Step 6: ENJOY and harvest the black gold in a few months

When you see a lot of black (worm castings) it is time to harvest. One method would be to add another bucket to your farm with the holes, moist paper bedding and food. Once the worms have finished the food in the original bin they will migrate up to the top bin leaving all that beautiful composted rich fertilizer below.

 

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