How to Feed Left-Over Holiday Food to Composting Worms

When the holiday season is underway, feasting is inevitable. So are left-overs! When the big day is over, what can you do with left-over holiday food? Start by making new meals using left-over ingredients. Eventually, some of the food may be too old or too small to keep anymore. That’s when you can feed left-over holiday food to your composting worms. What are the best ways to compost food after the holidays? How can your worms comfortably convert holiday food scraps into valuable fertilizer?

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How Can I Re-use Coffee Grounds?

coffee grounds

While dumping coffee grounds into the trash, you might wonder, “Can I re-use coffee grounds?” Fancy coffee blends and pods are expensive. Is there a way to brew an additional cup or pot from used coffee grounds? Where should you put used coffee grounds? If you can’t re-use them, can someone or something else use them? The Economics of Coffee Grounds Coffee brewed at home has become increasingly diverse. In the past, only a few factors distinguished one coffee from another. Roast and brand name were the main attributes setting ground coffee or coffee beans apart. However, in the past 25 years, Americans have become fussier about their coffee. Is it organic? Fairtrade? Where was it grown? What is the strength? The acidity? Flavored? The coffee aisle at the grocery store has a dizzying array of choices. Specialty coffees from the health food store, coffee and tea boutiques, online mail order, and coffee shop chains mean even more selection.

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Where Do Composting Worm Babies Come From?

Ever noticed a band around some of your composting worms? This band shows that the worm is mature enough to reproduce. How do composting worms make babies? How long does it to make worm babies? And how can you encourage the worms to breed? The red worm, Eisenia fetida, is a champion composting worm. Nestled in the confines of a composting bin, red worms happily eat your kitchen scraps. In return for these tasty morsels, they excrete valuable compost. The resulting “black gold” is the best compost for your garden and indoor plants. It Takes Two Red Worms to Tango On the one hand, red worms have both male and female characteristics. Botanists call them “hermaphrodites”. On the other hand, they need a partner to make babies. They cannot reproduce all on their own. Having DNA from two parents helps keep the offspring strong. When the conditions are right, two red worms line up against each other, facing opposite directions.  Their bands, called clitellum, secrete a mucus film that envelops both worms. Each worm receives sperm, which they store for later. After several hours, the worms go their separate ways. The clitellum then secretes albumin, a chemical that makes the clitellum start to harden. The worm starts to wriggle out of the clitellum. On the way, the worm deposits its own eggs and its partner’s sperm in the clitellum. The resulting lemon-shaped sac is called a cocoon. Sperm from one mating session can fertilize several cocoons. Waiting for the Eggs …

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Best Ways to Protect Composting Worms in the Winter

snow in the winter

Are sub-freezing temperatures on their way? Composting with worms does not have to stop in the winter! If you live in a cold climate, your composting worms can continue working when winter approaches. You need to make some decisions. Here are your choices: Do nothing. Insulate. Move the worms to a sheltered location. Move the worms to a heated location (such as in the house, heated outbuilding or basement). Wild worms fend for themselves during freezing temperatures.

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Rabbit Hutch Worm Farms

rabbit hutch wormfarm

A rabbit hutch is a mess unless you can automatically dispose of the waste. Rabbit poop, urine, spilled food and water, and bedding need to be cleaned out of the hutch regularly. Did you know that a rabbit hutch wormfarm cleans itself? Waste falls through the floor of the bunny hutch, straight into a composter populated by worms. The results are a clean hutch and valuable organic fertilizer. How do you make a Rabbit Hutch Worm Farm?

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Composting with Worms: Don’t Make These Five Mistakes

compost mistake banana peel

Composting worms speeds up the composting process. New worm bin owners tend to make mistakes. Once you get the hang of vermicomposting, you will love it! Reducing trash, saving the earth, and creating free fertilizer makes worm composting worthwhile. Your household might even adopt the worms as members of the family! Watch out for these five common mistakes. Mistake #1: Overfeeding Enthusiastic worm bin owners toss every available scrap into the bin. The worms cannot keep up. The bin starts to smell terrible! In theory, worms can eat their weight in scraps per day. However, that number might be lower, depending on air temperature and other factors. A fool-proof method is to feed them every 2 to 3 days. Be conservative in the quantity. Soon, you will get a feeling for how much food they can handle.

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Keeping Worm Composting Bins Cool in the Summer

Worm Composting Bin in the Summer

If you are feeling hot in the summer, so are your composting worms! Unless they are snuggled indoors in air conditioning, your wiggly composting helpers need help staying cool. A few precautions will keep your worms operational. What natural cooling techniques do worms have? Where should your worm bin go? When should you intervene? What’s the worst that can happen? Natural Worm Cooling Worm in the wild knows what to do when they feel too hot. They dig down deeper in the earth or bedding

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Making Compost: Differences Between Vermicomposting, Anaerobic and Aerobic Composting

Did you know that there are different types of composting? Aerobic composting and vermicomposting require ventilation. Anaerobic composting works without oxygen. How do you make compost? Which type is best for households, farms, businesses, institutions, and schools? How Composting Works Composting takes advantage of the natural process of decomposition. When leaves drop on the ground in the fall, Mother Nature breaks them down. Ants and other insects, bacteria, and fungi do their work. Soon, nothing remains except brown matter, which becomes part of the topsoil. This rich organic matter nourishes plants, helps regulate water saturation, and creates air pockets.

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How Do I Catch Worms for Fishing and Composting?

Earthworms make great fishing bait, and they also speed up composting. Maybe you are tired of using artificial lures or over-paying for small quantities at the bait shop. Or perhaps you’ve decided to start composting kitchen scraps. Adding European Night Crawlers or Red Worms to the composting bin will make the waste break down faster. Either way, you can catch the worms yourself or get them cheaper online. Types of Worms First, you want to figure out which types of worms to catch. There are around 182 taxa of earthworms in North America. Of these, two are especially useful: The European Night Crawler is called Eisenia hortensis or Dendrobaena veneta in Latin. This earthworm grows to 6 inches long. They grow to the diameter of a pencil. It has a bluish, pink-grey color with bands or stripes. The end of its tail might be pale yellow or cream. At Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm, we call them “Super Reds.” These are especially good for fishing because they continue to wiggle for quite a while on the hook underwater. The smaller Red Worms are also known as red wiggler worms, manure worms, panfish worm, brandling worms, tiger worms, trout worms, tiger worms, red Californian earth worms, and Eisenia fetida. Red Worms are smaller and thinner than European Night Crawlers. These champion composting worms are ideally suited to turning waste kitchen scraps into finished compost quickly. Get Ready for Worms When you get ready to go worm hunting, prepare a container with holes …

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Pros and Cons of Composting with Worms

If you are thinking about composting with worms, you will need to weigh the pros and cons first. Some folks start composting to reduce trash and help save the environment. Others are motivated by the end product: nutrient-rich compost for gardens, indoor plants, and lawns. Parents and teachers engage youngsters with a vermicomposting project. Whatever your reason, composting worms have both pluses and minuses. The most common concerns are waste reduction, odor, time, and cost. Reduces Waste Composting diverts organic waste from landfills and incinerators. You can compost food trimmings, leftovers, spoiled food, coffee grounds, compostable napkins, compostable takeout containers and utensils, garden trimmings, and certain agricultural waste. Pros: Composting requires sorting out organic matter from the trash. Sorting is easily accomplished by tossing vegetation into a container. Unsorted trash develops a terrible odor, due to anaerobic decomposition of organic matter. Foul odors attract pests. Collecting trash requires time, fuel, trucks, and expense. Landfills lack enough oxygen for proper composting. They are prone to buildup of flammable methane gas. Garbage is essentially entombed for eternity. Burning mixed trash is an utter waste of valuable organic matter. Incineration creates air pollution and toxic ash. Cons: Participants need instructions on what can be composted and how to separate it. Unlike recyclables, compostables start to break down quickly. Collection is highly time-sensitive at room temperature. Stored compostables should be refrigerated or frozen. Organic matter that has already been mixed in with other trash is difficult to separate. Composting Worms’ Odor You might be …

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