Tuesday, November 20, 2012

It's a Dirty Job (but somebody's gotta do it!)

 It's been on my mind for quite some time now. I knew i needed to do this, but...but...but...Today i just plunged right in...to my worm bin that is...

This is my hand covered in composted material from leftover greens, coffee grinds, tea bags, egg shells, left over veggies and fruit, pits, peelings...you name it. I've been vermicomposting for quite a few years now, and of all the things that makes this partnership work, this is my least favorite part. Cleaning the bin. After about a year of feeding the worms, there was barely enough room in the tub for the poor things to do their work.

This type of worm is best for indoor composting. It's called a red wiggler. They break down the food scraps, in partnership with all the other little microscopic critters that appear in the bin, and turn it into something garden and plant enthusiasts call "Black Gold"

Here's a big old handful of Black Gold(worm castings). It can be added to your garden soil, or sprinkled on top of your house plant soil, or you can soak it in a bucket of water and make "Liquid Gold" to feed your plants with-indoor or out. But in order to collect that Black Gold, you've gotta roll up your sleeves and separate the worker worms and their babies from the composted material. Some people just dump the whole bucket out and let the worms dry up with the castings. Then every year, they start fresh with new worms.But after all that hard work they've done for me, i just can't do that to the little guys...So, after all the separating and collecting, (2 hours plus) i tore up some newspaper into shreds, added some food scraps to the tub and re-established the worm colony so that they could do their thing once again!
Here's the finished bin..It ain't pretty, but i like it, and so do my little worm buddies!

3 comments:

Dip-Dip and the Bridge said...

That looks interesting - and dirty :)
Your garden must be really healthy with all those worms to work on it.
Lynne x

Paula said...

That is interesting, Mare!!

Mare said...

Yeah...it looks....yucky! But you know, once the worms work their magic, this stuff has absolutely NO odor. It's pretty stinky while it is all breaking down but then that passes and the finished product is amazing...