Where have all the food scraps gone? Gone to redworms, everyone

Worms eat my garbage--specifically, my food scraps. Maybe after you review some of the resources in this column, you'll let worms eat yours, too.

Earlier this year I held a workshop on vermicomposting at our new food co-op. (I'm not sure why, but our attendance included 11 women, and a man.) I had all kinds of worries about sharing my relatively new worm bin: Were the little white worms that appeared after several weeks just baby worms, or were they larvae waiting to become swarming flies? Would the vibration during their car trip to the co-op cause them to get the creepy-crawlies and climb out the air holes? Would my food waste stink, perhaps an odor I didn't notice, but like some house pets, smelling vile to others? I'm happy to note that none of my students noticed a smell, there were no flies, and my worms preferred to stay in the bin.

At this point I've harvested the vermicompost and will soon plant my first sprouts in the nutrient-rich worm-made soil. Here are the best worm-composting resources on the web.

Worm Woman--http://www.Worm Woman.com/

The author of Worms Eat My Garbage, "Worm Woman" Mary Apelhof unfortunately passed away this year, but her legacy lives on. Don't miss her video of five pairs of beating worm hearts; there is a quick little animated file on the site, but the viewing quality is better on her VHS/PAL video, Wormania!, a quirky and wonderfully informative program. In order to set up your own worm composting system you will need an aerated bin, food scraps, water, some bedding (shredded newspaper is commonly used), and one or two pounds of redworms.

Worm Digest = http://www.WormDigest.org/

The Worm Digest's The Art of Small Scale Vermicomposting

(ASSV) issue is the most concise and informative booklet available on the subject. Select "Back Issues" to order a single copy, or buy them in bulk. ASSV is also available as a $3 PDF file. At WormDigest.com, you can also read reviews of various worm bins, download instructions for building your own, and sign up for an informative 10-part newsletter series that arrives every 3 days, or so.

Worm Composting

http://homepage.mac.com/cityfarmer/PhotoAlbum23.html

The City of Vancouver offers a helpful slideshow to assist apartment dwellers in worm composting.

How to Harvest Your Bin: The Movie

http://www.cityfarmer.org/moviewormharvest.html

A Quick Time movie shows one method of harvesting compost from your worm bin.

Worm World Inc.

http://www.jetcompost.com/burrow/index.html

This site offers resources for "putting the profit in vermicompo$ting." It also has a mix of helpful supporting materials for the home worm composter.

Books on Worms--http://www.wormbooks.com/redworms.htm

This is the most eclectic set of books on worms that you'll ever see, including A-Worming We Did Go and As the Worm Turns.

The Adventures of Herman--http://www.urbanext.uiuc.edu/worms/

http://www.urbanext.uiuc.edu/worms/images/certificate.pdf

If you should be inspired to teach others about worm composting, consider this site from the University of Illinois Extension Service. Make sure to download the Certified Wormologist Certificate.

Worm Sources

You may order worms for your bin over the web. Notice the delightful website names! Find the location closest to you.

http://www.acmewormfarm.com/ (AZ)

http://www.angelfire.com/mb/bjl/ (Australia)

http://www.bluebellyfarm.com/ (CA)

http://www.happydranch.com/ (CA)

http://www.impactworm.com.au/ (Australia)

http://www.kazarie.com/ (FL)

http://www.magicworms.com/ (CA)

http://www.magicwiggler.com/ (MS)

http://www.squirmy-worms.com/ (Australia)

http://www.vermico.com/ (OR)

http://www.vermitechnology.com/ (FL)

http://www.windsweptwormfarm.com/ (MO)

http://www.wormfarm.com/ (WA)

http://www.wormlady.com/ (WA)

http://www.wormman.com/ (NJ)

http://www.wormpost.com/ (VT)

http://www.worms.com (PA)

http://www.wormwigwam.com/ (OR)

http://www.wormwoman.com/ (MI)

http://www.wormswrangler.com/ (WA)

http://www.wormwrld.com/ (PA)

http://www.wormpost.com/ (VA)

http://www.dakotablueworms/ (GA)

http://www.capecodwormfarm.com/ (MA)

http://www.wilsonsworms.com/ (MT)

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Search Terms

I trust that with search terms below, you will be able to find resources to make your worm bin composting a success: "Worm bin": vermicomposting; vermiculture; redworms; "Eisenia fetida"; "worm composting"; "worm woman"; "Worms Eat my Garbage"; "Worm castings"

I aim for the day when households, grocery stores, restaurants, produce stands, institutional cafeterias, and employee lunchrooms feed their leftovers--if they aren't fit for human consumption--to the worms. (Then they can grow salad greens in the resulting compost.) Let me know how your worm composting project develops.

Marjorie Roswell is a web developer at a health policy organization in Baltimore.

A column devoted to informative integrative health resources on the Internet

by Marjorie Roswell

3443 Guilford Terrace * Baltimore, Maryland 21218 USA

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published this page in Web Page Potpourri 2012-01-10 19:48:46 -0500
Margie Roswell
Websites. Mapping. Music. Nutrition. Global Health.