HI EVERYONE!!!!! Spring is almost here!!!!!!!!!
Don’t let last week’s snow fool you. Or this week’s forecasted snow fool you either.
SPRING IS ALMOST HERE I PROMISE!
And you know what that means…….? Gardening Season!
I’m so excited!!! Can you tell?
I’ve been getting antsy for Spring, but since it’s too early in the year for starts, I harvested the “humus” from my worm farm instead.
Can I tell you how wonderful it smells? Just like the earth after a rain storm. Aaahhh.
The worm-humus goes into the soil for my house plants, and I guess I’ll let you know how the plants fare in a few weeks.
If you are interested in vermicomposting (composting with worms), then keep reading! Everything you need to know and/or purchase can be found at the website posted below.
They have compost bins, worms, organic fertilizer, seeds, etc., etc., etc.
I purchased my worms from Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm in the dead of January last year. I ordered the smallest amount, which was 100, but you can order up to 10,000 if you want. For an apartment compost bin, 100 was enough. And the worms arrived alive! I was impressed.
Rather than buy a compost bin, I decided to save a bit of money and make one out of stuff I had at home. It was so easy!
Stuff I Used:
- Two 23″x 16″ x 15″ bins
(It doesn’t really matter what size bin you use, but keep in mind that you need space for food scraps)
- A drill with a 5/16″ drill bit
(Any size will work, but you want the holes you drill to be smaller than the worms. Or smaller than the diameter of a pencil)
- Newspaper Scraps
The first bin, I left untouched. Honestly, I don’t know if that bin is needed. I liked the idea of stacking one bin inside the other in case the inside bin cracked or something. For the second bin, I drilled holes in the lid and along the sides near the top for air flow.
I then tore newspaper in to strips, dipped them in water, and placed them criss-cross on the bottom of the bin. On top of the scraps, I place a bit of moistened potting soil for the worms to burrow into. Note: You don’t want the newspapers and soil to be too saturated. It should feel like a wrung out sponge.
There is a set of instructions that come with the worms, and honestly, I don’t remember what those instructions were. But I placed the worms on top of the garden soil and within a few hours they had burrowed into the soil.
With the paper and marker, I wrote a list of what could go into the compost bin and what couldn’t, and taped it to the lid.
Fruit and Veggie Scraps
Shredded Cardboard: egg cartons, paper towel rolls, etc.
Garlic and Onion
Processed or Cooked Food
Fats and Oils
Glossy or Colored Paper
I tossed in food scraps that I had been saving for a couple of days, and voila! Project Complete.
For the first week, the compost bin took a bit of adjusting. I came home one day to my apartment reeking like a garbage bin. It was horrible! I immediately threw open all the windows. In the dead of winter. Smelly and cold….
Luckily, I didn’t have a roommate at the time, who surely would have hated me!
I opened the bin, nose covered, and noticed there was a lot of moisture in the bin. It didn’t look right so I added dry shredded paper for absorption. I didn’t take long before the smell was gone. But the next day I came home to the same thing!
“My landlords are gonna kill me,” I thought.
Maybe there just wasn’t enough airflow? I drilled a few more holes into the lid, opened the windows again, took a drive for a few hours, and came back to a fresh smelling apartment.
The compost bin has NEVER smelled bad since.
If you’re doing things right, the bin should smell clean and earthy. (Aaaahh). You want a decent amount of moisture in the bin. However, if there is too much moisture with no air flow, just beware that house-mates might want to kill you. Your compost bin should NEVER smell like a trash bin. If it does, something is wrong.
But don’t fret too much. Making adjustments was super simple. If I can figure it out, any one can.
So that’s that. I throw in my food scraps and the worms eat it. I’m not sure how long it’s “supposed” to take for food to break down, but after a year with the worms, I have a 5 gallon Lowe’s bucket full of earthy black gold!