Saturday, August 31, 2013

Bringing Boulder to Oxford with Worm Composting!

Something I have been wanting to try for a long time is composting food scraps at home. After living in Boulder for almost 8 years, I feel guilty every time I throw vegetable trimmings in the garbage can, knowing they'll turn to sludgy mush in a landfill somewhere (probably in Ohio since there seem to be a fair number of telltale mounds around here).

Our condo was small enough in Boulder that I never felt we had the room for a worm bin, but here in Oxford we have more than enough! We could keep our worm bin on the back porch in warmer weather, in the garage when it gets cold, or even in a corner of the kitchen/dining area if needed.

So, I watched a helpful video on YouTube, bought a few materials, and got started!

The hardest part was finding the worms. I needed red wigglers, or Eisenia fetida for you science geeks out there. I looked on the internet but could only find them sold in large batches, and I only needed a few ounces of worms to start with.

Today while Ted and I were driving home from the BMV (another post about that later) we stopped to fill up at a gas station. Just so happens this little gas station also sold bait! So I went inside and bought myself a little canister of Red Worms. I hope these are the right kind. The girl behind the counter was not at all interested in the scientific brand of their fish bait.

Anyway, I had my worms, so it was time to finally construct L'Hôtel de Compost.

I started with a 10-gallon bin from Home Depot:

Drilled some holes in the bottom and sides:

In the absence of autumn leaves to use as filler, I hand-shredded some papers from our recycling bin and moistened them with a spray bottle:

Dumped the worms in. Gave them their first meal:

And voila! We're composting.

As you can see, I need to find a wider catch basin, but we had an old litter box on hand, so for now it's balanced above that.

UPDATE:  I don't think I have enough worms... by any stretch of the imagination. So I've placed an order on eBay! I found 75 worms for $8, and they're on their way! 

Do any of you have a worm bin at home? Any special tips or things I should know about?

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