Worms break it down!

Did you know a bin of food waste is like a restaurant for worms?

Worms take food scraps and break them down to make compost. This process is vermicomposting. You can set up a “worm restaurant” in the kitchen, basement, or a school classroom. While you eat, sleep, and study, the worms will be busy feasting on your food waste and turning it into valuable and nutrient-rich compost.

Here’s how to do it. You’ll need a bin, a couple handfuls of soil, water, and shredded newspaper or cardboard for bedding. Soaking your shredded newspaper or cardboard in water overnight and then squeezing out the extra water with your hands will provide enough moisture to get started. Worms do best at room temperature, so plan to keep the bin where the temperature is usually between 55 and 80 degrees.

A pound of red wiggler worms will eat about one-half pound of food scraps per day. These scraps may include fruit and vegetable peels and scraps, cereal, and bread. You can feed your worms every day or once or twice a week. To feed your worms, move the bedding aside and create a small hole for the food. Rotate where you bury the food. After burying the food, cover the feeding area with newspaper bedding.

Your vermicompost is ready to harvest when the contents have turned dark brown. You’ll probably harvest compost about every six months. Vermicompost contains a lot of nutrients that your plants need, so add it to your garden soil or flower pots.

For step-by-step instructions, check out Vermicompost for Beginners or read Worms Will Eat Your Garbage!

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