Should We Use Biogas or Composting to Solve Food Waste Problems?

Did you know that when food rots without oxygen, it creates a greenhouse gas called methane? Methane is a greenhouse gas that causes climate change. If the food goes to a landfill and it deprived of oxygen, the methane releases into the atmosphere. It can build up and can cause explosions, sometimes it is burned off for safety. If the food is put into a composter, the aerobic process turns the wasted food into organic fertilizer. And if it goes to a biogas plant, an anaerobic (low-oxygen) process turns it into methane, which is burned in large quantities to produce electricity. Approximately a third of edible food in the United States is wasted. This is around 20 pounds of food per person per month. It’s wasted at all points in food production: at the farm, in processing, in transit, at the store and in the home. The only part that most of us can control is in

Read More

What Can I feed my Worms?

A frequently asked question if not the most asked question I get is, “What can I feed my worms?!” So I have decided to come up with a basic list of what you can feed your worms. I will also include a list of things to keep out of the worm bin. Things to feed your worms include: Fruits Vegetables Paper Squash and Pumpkin Eggshells Coffee Bread Pasta Tea Bags Grains Hair Lawn Clippings (aged, fresh clippings may heat up and kill the worms) Animal Manure (not dog or cat) Here is a very basic list of what to not put in the worm bin: Salty Foods Citrus Spicy Foods Oils Foods with preservatives meat dairy There are a few other things to keep in mind when feeding your worms. The smaller the matter the easier and faster for the worms to compost.  Chopping large chunks of food to feed worms is recommended but not necessary. You can puree, freeze, or microwave food scraps before adding them to your worm composter to help break down material. Make sure that food has returned to room temperature before adding it to your worm bin. Try to keep a balance of browns and greens. Browns and greens are nicknames for different types of organic matter to use in composting. Browns are high in carbon or carbohydrates, thus they are organic carbon sources. These foods supply the energy that most soil organisms need to survive. Carbons also help absorb the offensive odors and capture and help …

Read More

How Does Composting Reduce Trash Problems?

Separating recyclables from the trash helps the environment, but you could help even more by composting. Kitchen scraps, yard waste and even scrap paper can be composted right in your home or yard. Reducing household trash can have a big impact on the environment. You can compost in a pile or bin, and you can add Red Worms to speed up the process. When the process is complete, you can harvest fertilizer for your garden and house plants. When organic matter is separated and composted, you have less trash in the landfill, less incineration, and fewer pests rummaging through the household garbage bins. Less Trash Hauled Off to the Landfill Waste that is sent to the landfill harms the planet. Many landfills use

Read More

Start Composting on Earth Day April 22

The best day of the year to start a composting program in your home, school or workplace is April 22. This is Earth Day, when we all show our support for environmental protection. Collecting organic trash and composting it helps the environment in many ways. And it’s easy to do! When you toss an apple core into the trash, it gets mixed in with all the other trash. In a few days, you have a stinky mess in a sealed plastic bag for the trash collector to pick up. The trash is either incinerated or put into a landfill. Burning mixed trash creates toxic gasses, and the resulting ash is handled as toxic waste. Landfills produce methane, a greenhouse gas. And landfills eventually come back to haunt us. If you put that same apple core into a composting

Read More

Lasagna Composting (a.k.a. Sheet Composting) is Super Easy!

Upon reading the title, you would probably start thinking about a compost pile that creates ready-made lasagna or produces lasagna ingredients. Well, you’re absolutely wrong with at least the former assumption. Lasagna composting or sheet composting is a horticultural method deriving its name from the process and style of layering your compost. It may sound appetizing but it’s basically a procedure that helps establish a new garden bed with the richest of soil, that’s where the assumption that it produces lasagna ingredients is partially true. Lasagna composting is an organic gardening method that helps save time.  Imagine all the benefits of composting with almost none of the work. Lasagna composting involves spreading all the materials directly on the garden in layers thin enough that they break down on their own with no watering or turning. How wonderful! Some things to consider before attempting this type of composting: This is an ideal early-fall technique, so you will have optimal soil by spring. Lasagna composting takes six months or more, so it’s not a good strategy if you want to plant soon. This style of composting isn’t exactly the most attractive way to compost. Most homesteaders won’t care, but if you’re homesteading on a suburban lot with a picky homeowner’s association, you may catch some grief. Creating a lasagna compost can certainly help save you some time versus traditional composting as it doesn’t require any digging, tilling or removing of sod. It may sound a bit sensational but it’s also quite effective. …

Read More

How to Grow Your Own Garden “Starts” with Compost

starts with compost

As spring approaches, many gardeners are thinking about growing their own seeds into small plants – called “starts.” Using compost is a great way to give the little plants a healthy start before planting them outside. Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm has several tools and tips for getting your starts up-and-running in time for spring planting. Yes, you can buy starts at the garden center if you want. Be aware, though, that you will be limited on the variety. Garden centers only have a limited selection of the best-known and most popular varieties of plants. Did you know that plenty of exotic

Read More

The Benefits of Worm Castings on Garden Soil and Plants

If you are looking for a safer and better alternative to use as fertilizer as opposed to the chemical-based products made today, then you might want to use worm castings also known as vermicompost for supplementing your garden soil and plants. Castings from composting worms have been recognized as a natural fertilizer that is packed with a lot of nutrients and minerals. Worm castings contains minerals such as concentrated nitrates, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus. Worm castings are also a 100% organic fertilizer that can increase a plant’s yield, protect both soil and plants from diseases, and help the soil retain moisture. If you want a constant supply of worm castings than you should definitely consider starting your own little worm farm with Red worms. Red worms live and eat off of the

Read More

A Simple Way to Make and Use Worm Tea

Worm tea is ultimately the end result of steeping worm castings or vermicompost in water. Worm tea is known mostly for its ability to boost microbiological activity in soil by adding bacteria, fungi, actinomycetes, and protozoa to the soil. If you are already worm farming and have easy access to worm castings then making worm tea will be a breeze, or if you want to start a worm farm to reap the benefits of the castings we have you covered with our many options of worm kits.   Things you will need to make worm tea: Porous bag (Uncle Jim’s worm bag, old t-shirt, panty hose, cheese clothe, etc) dechlorinated water such as: rainwater, pond, or distilled water bucket ( 5 gallon will work) Worm Castings   First thing you will want to do is add your

Read More

What Is Worm Composting And How Do I Do It?

  Worm composting also known as vermicomposting  is the use of earthworms to convert organic waste into fertilizer. If you are already an avid composter then transitioning over to worm composting should be a relatively easy task. But even if you have never heard the term vermicomposting and barely understand composting, you can still vermicompost! Just follow along to see how easy it really can be!   In order to get started composting with worms you will need a few things: bin/container/composter/enclosed space bedding moisture/proper PH temperature control compostable matter worms   The first thing you will want to figure out when it comes to worm composting is where you are going to do all of this. Many people will start off with a simple plastic bin which you can pretty much get at any retail or hardware store. You will want to drill holes in the bin for proper ventilation and drainage. The bin can range in size based off  your composting needs but should be a depth of at least 6 inches for the worms. People have also used containers such as old bathtubs or freezers. However, if you have the money and would like a simple composter for your worms to do their thing you can invest in a composter specifically designed for vermicomposting. Popular composters include the Worm Factory 360 and the Can-O-Worms. Both of which are available through our site. These composters are great because they come with everything you need to set up your …

Read More

Composting Program Success in San Francisco CA

In 2009, the city of San Francisco, California, started a mandatory composting program as part of its waste management plan. All residents and businesses are required to participate. The curbside bins are color coded: blue for recyclables, green for compostables, and black for trash. When the city passed this ordinance, they wanted to address the 35% of trash that was compostable. This organic matter does not break down safely in a landfill. The other items in the landfill bury the organic matter in layers. This is an anaerobic environment, lacking oxygen. Dangerous

Read More