>> Monday, August 24, 2009
Worms Eat My Garbage
by Mary Appelhof
Appelhof's classic guide to vermicomposting is the definitive resource for anyone interested in starting a worm bin. Short and easy to read with clever illustrations, Worms Eat My Garbage includes information on what kind of container and worms to use, how to set up a worm bin, how to feed your worms, and how to harvest your compost. As a bonus, Appelhof also includes frequently asked questions about worms, including how they eat, poop, and reproduce. This is definitely the only book about vermicomposting you will ever need.
Here's just a sampling of the information in this book:
Why choose a worm bin?
- Because of the worms' high rate of digestion, a worm bin can be much smaller than a regular compost bin, and you can keep it indoors, enabling you to compost year round. Composting allows you to turn your kitchen food waste into valuable fertilizer for your garden rather than adding it to a landfill. You can also save energy and water through composting by avoiding use of a garbage disposal.
- "Plan on one square foot of surface for each pound of garbage per week."
- Appelhof recommends a 2:1 ratio of worms to garbage. In other words, you need 2 pounds of worms for every pound of garbage you produce a day.
- Yes!....vegetables, fruits, coffee grinds, tea leaves, pulvarized egg shells
- No!...too much citrus, meat, bones, feces, preferably no dairy (stinky and attracts flies, mice, ants, and rats)
- top dressing
- transplants (sprinkle in the bottom of each hole)
- seed beds (spread in a row)
- potting soil (mix with peat moss, perlite, and sand or garden soil)
This book was even better than I expected. It's a perfect introduction and guide to vermicomposting, and I now feel ready to get my worm bin started. Right now, the thing holding us back is the amount of newspaper we need. We don't subscribe to the local paper, so it's a matter of saving up the bits of junk newspaper that come in the mail. Appelhof says you can use regular printer paper but that newspaper works better, and since I've read of others who failed at vermicomposting, I want to make sure I do it right from the start. Would it be worth subscribing to the newspaper just to get paper for my worm bin? Or does anyone else know of a good source of newspaper?
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