The U.S. EPA estimates that each American throws away an average of 1.3 pounds of food scraps daily . The average family of four generates about 7 pounds of compostable waste each week. The combination of food waste, along with yard refuge, makes up 24 percent of our nation’s municipal solid waste stream.
Referring to the process of using earthworms to turn organic waste into vermicompost -- also known as vermicast, worm compost, worm castings, worm humus or worm manure -- a high quality all natural fertilizer and soil amendment.
Vermicast, similarly known as worm castings, worm humus or worm manure, is the end-product of the breakdown of organic matter by earthworms.
Actively aerated compost tea: Derived from the process of soaking worm castings in water while adding oxygen (aerating) for varying durations of time. - target microbe(s) dependent. Supplemental microbial food sources are often added...again - target microbial population dependent.
For the sake of clarity on our site please note: Generally speaking when we say "worm bed" we are referring to larger outdoor permanent in-ground systems. When we mention "worm bin" we generally mean smaller systems usually kept indoors that can be easily relocated. Bins can also be free standing wood structures staged on porches, patios or in your yard near a garden.
A worm bin or bed can be setup indoors or outdoors, as long as it remains at a temperature between 40 and 80 degrees. Larger well balanced & healthy outdoor beds are able to maintain temperatures within this range all year round. Many people place small bins in inconspicuous areas indoors like kitchens, basements, garages or laundry rooms. A healthy system has little to no oder but if they do it's usually a slightly sweet and earthy smell that plant people like us actually enjoy. An offensive smelling system is the sign of an unhealthy system and measures must be taken quickly to balance the habitat. There are a few reasons for a stinky bin but in most cases it is one or more of the following three issues; Over feeding, overheating, or neglect.
Red Wriggler earthworms ( Eisenia Fetida or Fetida). In our experience, by far the best worm for the job. These hearty worms reproduce quickly and can eat more than their own weight in food each day. They are able to survive well in a variety of climates.
It is easier to list what worms have trouble digesting than to list what they do digest and compost well. These guys can really eat just about anything organic, but like us, certain foods just don't agree with them therefore not allowing for optimum composting.
Not on the menu: Cheese (dairy), bread (in large amounts), fruits high in citrus, "hot" variety peppers. Just to be clear...they will eat these things however they are not recommended in terms of achieving optimal composting condition. We have been doing this for along time and experience tells us to shy away from these things.
The only absolute "no, no never" is meat. Most people are horrified when we tell them not to feed their worms meat or they will grow teeth! Then we get a good laugh when we tell them we are just kidding, but really...no meat!. It will go rancid and rot, basically ruining your system most likely killing your worms as well.
Mellon, Squash, pumpkins, strawberry, banana, Dave Chappelle.