Worms are our friends. They convert lots of organic material as part of Nature’s food webs. We can take advantage of this fact by farming with worms, where the desired product is compost, a source of available nutrients for plants.
Recycling food waste and house plant clippings into compost is very desirable. We can save on the expense to haul the waste away and get a beneficial product in return for a few moments of our attention. It takes only a few minutes to separate food wastes or plant clippings into a separate container for feeding your worms.
Feeding your worms can be as easy as opening the cupboard under your kitchen sink, raising the lid on the worm bin and throwing in the scraps – no meat, cheese, or oils, please. Ours is in the garage, so we place kitchen scraps in an old bean pot that sits on the counter by the sink. It took me forever and many a flea market to find one with a lid, but persistence pays off!
There are more modern-looking solutions to the bean pot. Just make sure you get a compost bucket with a lid!
It’s easy to get started recycling your kitchen waste into compost gold.
Six steps to recycling kitchen waste:
- Get worms. Use Red Wiggler worms.
- Set up bin. Large plastic container with lid and tray or spigot to remove excess liquid and air holes for the worms.
- Get crock. Pail with a lid or compost container for holding kitchen waste.
- Tear up newspaper. Any paper will do fine for bedding. Newspaper, envelopes, junk mail, old bills, any paper, colored or not.
- Add worms to moist bedding and empty food waste crock into bin.
- Keep moist. Use a spray bottle to keep moist or soak paper in water before adding to bin.
Compost has been shown to be a rich source of nutrients for plants. The nutrients in worm castings, as their poop is called, are highly available, which means that the nutrients in compost are more easily absorbed or used by the plants as compared to the nutrients in chemical fertilizers.