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Showing posts from September, 2010

Can Worms Save My Relationship with Composting?

After a few too many brushes with anerobic decay in my kitchen compost pail, my passion for composting is cooling. I'm quite sure that my carbon footprint for toting a small pail of fresh compost a couple of miles to the Fink Farm compost bin more than exceeds any benefit to be gained from returning green waste to the ground.

An alternative currently has me firmly in its grip: kitchen vermiculture. To describe this in simple terms, you take a set of stacked, ventilated trays and add 1,000 red worms (Eisenia foetida), bedding materials, a little water and up to five pounds of food waste a week. The worms digest the waste, creating casting that are rich in nitrogen, phosphates, potash, calcium and magnesium. The castings can be put in the garden. As the worms finish the waste, they crawl up into the next level of the bin.  The lower tray can then be emptied into the garden.

The worms can process fruits, vegetables, stale bread, old rice or pasta, coffee grounds and dryer lint.  You …