Friday, March 23, 2012

We've got worms.

In a good way....

I was inspired by Pinterest to try vermicomposting. I've always disliked the amount of food waste that our family produces and was hoping that the City of Calgary would introduce composting several years ago.  There was a public outcry about the cost (they were going to do recycling, garbage and composting in one go) and the City decided to scrap the plan and introduce each new initiative separately (side note about the cost... we pay more for just recycling and garbage now than the proposed cost of all three when the plan was introduced.... interesting).The city has introduced a compost pilot project in a few neighbourhoods, but if it does get approved, it will be several more years until it comes to our neighbourhood so I had to figure something else out.  I originally had planned to start an outdoor compost, but the space, bugs and smell dissuaded me from taking the plunge. Which is why I latched onto the idea of vermicomposting. After reading about it here (and several other places) I decided to give it a go.....

I resolved to make my own composting system and settled on a two layer system. With this system, once the first bin is full, you put the second bin on top and start feeding up there, the worms eventually migrate into the new bin leaving mostly worm free casings (i.e.: worm poop) in the bottom bin, ready to be added to the garden. This system should allow me to not have to sort worms from their compost, but we shall see......

I bought three 53 litre  plastic Rubbermaid "Roughneck" bins (two for the worms, one for the excess moisture).

I then drilled big holes (didn't check the drill size) in the bottom of two of the bins (for drainage and migration)

Using a smaller drill bit, I drilled air holes around the bin and in one of the lids (the other two lids will hit the recycling bin).

Chey and I shredded a bunch of newspaper and soaked it in water and squeezed out the excess (the paper should be the dampness of a wrung out sponge).

We put that in the bottom of the bin and then put some "compost material" (fruits, veggies, bread.... NO animal protein or oil!).

I then layered some wet cardboard on top and let the whole thing sit for several days (worms like their food "matured").

Today we added the worms (we found a worm farm in Calgary, Worms @ Work).....

Let the experiment begin!

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