Q & A

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Eric Vinje

Hi Rooney –

Vermicomposting, or worm composting is the proverbial win-win situation. It gives you a convenient way to dispose of kitchen scraps and other green waste and turns it into a rich, dark organic soil that smells like earth and feels like magic. Made of almost pure worm castings, it’s a sort of super compost. Now, on to the questions…

I read where I only need to feed my worms about once a week and in very small amounts that are cut up into small pieces or they won’t have enough time to eat and compost their food. Is that true?

Yes, It’s best to feed worms once a week in small amounts. If you feed them more than they can process you will end up with a stinking worm bin as the garbage literally backs up.

What do I do with the pieces of scrap food that are waiting to be given to the worms to eat without it piling up, smelling so bad, and attracting unwanted bugs?

If your worms are eating too slowly, chop up vegetable scraps, which is easier for them to eat and gives new meaning to the term “fast food.” If the chopping doesn’t help enough, reduce the amount of organic matter you are feeding them and store it in a kitchen compost pail.

Are there any top tier/priority things I need to know before I start this thing?

Not really, Although I recommend you start with a smaller number of worms until you get the hang of it. Once your worm bin is up and running, it requires little maintenance until it’s time to harvest the castings and give your worms some new bedding.

How hard is maintaining a worm farm?

It’s not hard at all. In fact, having a worm bin requires very little attention. Worms are surprisingly low-maintenance housemates. They don’t need to be fed every day, they make no noise, and their bins only need to be cleaned every three to six months.

When is the compost ready to use? How will I know?

Once the contents of your bin have turned to worm castings — brown, earthy-looking stuff — it’s time to harvest the castings and give your worms new bedding. To harvest the castings, simply push the partially composted food to the middle of the bin and add more food scraps. Replace the lid. The worms will head for the new food. Once they’ve relocated to the food pile, remove the castings without taking out any worms. Once they’ve been harvested, replace the bedding. Voila!

Hope it helps!