Composting is all in a day’s work. Food scraps are abundant and produced by the bowlful almost daily in my kitchen. Coffee grounds, egg shells, and lots of veg peelings – kitchen waste mounts up and fills the bowl.
I’ve tried composting a couple of different times and the results were always abysmal. But it seems a darn shame not to keep trying when I generate such an abundant source of composting material. Material that will eventually if handled properly result rich soil. The bigger bonus though is that proper handling of kitchen scraps benefits the environment.
In the US, food waste accounts for 20% of the material in the landfills and it produces methane gas. Methane gas is about 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide in terms of its warming potential and therefore it’s also more potent in terms of its harmful effect on our environment (source Oregon State University Extension Services). Do you find it as ironic as I do that methane gas is called “greenhouse” gas? A greenhouse is after all such a lovely place for things to thrive and grow!
So back in December, I decided to take a stand for the environment and dedicated a portion of my garden space to an experiment with vermicomposting – composting with worms.
After determining the space that I would use, I found a source for the worms – Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm. I was like a kid on Christmas morning when my package arrived.
With a great sense of urgency, I added my composting helpers to the dedicated garden space.
Then I topped them with some bedding of shredded newspaper. This type of worm does not burrow but rather lives relatively close to the surface.
And then I covered them with a blankie to keep them warm 🙂
And whenever my scrap bowl is full, I take it out to the compost bin, dig a shallow trough and feed the worms!
The worms are European Red Wiggler to be exact. They are hardier than the regular variety of Red Wigglers and since our winters in the Pacific Northwest can be cold, European Red Wigglers were the way to go. Here they are in action…
It is truly amazing how much these guys can devour… I think they’re happy to be part of my experiment. Come early summer I’ll harvest the vermicast (the byproduct of the worm’s work) which is loaded with beneficial microorganisms and nutrients and use it throughout my garden.
Honestly, I have no idea how much vermicast I’ll yield, but what I do know is that the huge amount of kitchen waste that I produce is no longer going to the landfill and I feel good about that 🙂
All in a day’s work… thanks for visiting Palatable Life.