What is Worm Composting?
Worm Composting, Vermicomposting, or Worm Farming
are all terms that describe the process of using certain species of earthworms - usually the Red Wiggler - to break down organic matter into worm compost and worm castings.
Thousands of these worms can be kept indoors in a small bin. This can be done indoors all year, with small amounts of material at a time, is odor free and pest free, requires little maintenance if done correctly, creates a higher quality product, and can be significantly faster than other types of composting.
Under ideal conditions, these worms can eat half their weight in food every day. Their diet can include fruit, vegetable, and plant waste, coffee grounds, paper and cardboard waste, fall leaves and more.
As the food is eaten, your worms will excrete a powerful organic fertilizer called 'worm castings' which you can eventually harvest for your plants. There is a wealth of infomation on the unparalleled potential of worm castings.
In the worm composting world it really is true that one man’s trash is another worm’s treasure!
Why Worm Compost?
If its not the case that your greatest goal in life was to have a worm farm - here are some other amazing reasons that worm composting is so great!
1. Can be done indoors
As long as you keep your bin aerobic, you won't deal with any pests or any foul odors. A relatively small amount of food is decomposing at a time, which will stop smells from being produced, and its usually covered in bedding which will prevent pests from finding it.
This allows you to compost all year - even through winter.
2. Easier to make and Higher Quality Product
If a worm ate it, you can be sure it has been decomposed properly. They kill any bad bacteria as they digest their food.
Worm castings are generally accepted as the best organic fertilizer on the planet.
3. Can be done with small amounts of material at a time
Unlike worm composting, with regular composting high temperatures have to be reached to have a safe product. High temperatures require thermal mass - regulations require at least one cubic yard. You need to have 200 gallons of material to compost at a time. On the other hand, the worms can create a safe product one banana peel at a time.
4. For small scale composting, worm composting is by far the fastest method
For most home gardeners using a tumbler or small compost system, you will be amazed by how much faster you see decomposition occur with the use of composting worms.
5. Worms teach you about soil/compost health
Worms are a key indicator of soil/compost health. At one point, land was priced based on earthworm population and density. If you learn how to keep worms healthy, you will be synonymously learning how to keep a soil or compost healthy.
What Kind of Worms Can I Use?
There are many different types of earthworms with different ecological niches. The earthworms you typically see in your soil, or after a heavy rain, are either 'Endogeic' or 'Anecic' earthworms. These kinds of earthworms prefer to live in burrows deep in the soil rather than pure organic matter, and don't live in densely populated conditions. For these reasons, they are not suited for life in a worm bin.
The kinds that are best suited for life in a worm bin are 'Epigeic' earthworms. These earthworms prefer to live in the top few inches of leaf litter/decomposing organic matter, eat rapidly, and can live in densely populated worm-communities. For these reasons, they are perfect for worm bins. The common species of worm used for vermicomposting is the Red Wiggler, or Eisenia Fetida.
How to Get Started
Everything you need to know to get started can be found in the worm composting guides here on the website. If you prefer speaking to a real person, you can also contact me directly! When you are ready to get started, you can find worm bins, bedding, and composting worms available in the shop all with free shipping!