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Vermicomposting. - I know it's wonky and I don't care [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Kake

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Vermicomposting. [Nov. 8th, 2006|12:56 pm]
Kake
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I was telling mstevens about the worms I have living on my balcony, and he said I should tell ewtikins about them too. So I decided to tell all of you. This is basically a copy and paste from my email; sorry m, you get to see it twice :)

We've got a wormery composter on the balcony. It's basically two stacking boxes, and a pile of worms (red worms, Eisenia fetida). You start it off by lining one box with a thin layer of shredded newspaper and adding the worms. Then you give them 2–3 days to settle down before you start feeding them. You feed them by spreading a layer of vegetable waste on top, and covering it with more shredded newspaper. The newspaper adds carbon (the carbon-nitrogen balance is rather important, apparently), and keeps fruit flies away (not entirely successfully in our case). When the box is full, you take out half the worms and use them to start the other box; the full box gets left alone for a few months for the worms to finish the composting process.

Yesterday, we did the “taking out half the worms” part. They're very good at avoiding fingers. There were little baby worms in there too! So cute!

We generate quite a lot of veg peelings, so I may get more boxes and worms, if I manage not to kill this lot. They stack on top of each other so it won't use up more space.

This page about vermicomposting has more info. If you're interested, see if your local council has a discount scheme to encourage residents to compost; we got our wormery for only £8 including delivery (and worms!) via Southwark council.

Update: some useful hints on dealing with fruit flies (thanks Miki!)

LinkReply

Comments:
From: unsomnambulist
2006-11-08 01:03 pm (UTC)
This is incredibly interesting - I may have to look into doing something like this myself.
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[User Picture]From: nou
2006-11-08 04:48 pm (UTC)
It's very exciting. Well, I find it exciting anyway. Turning rubbish into stuff I can plant things in!
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[User Picture]From: julietk
2006-11-08 05:39 pm (UTC)
I think it's *great* :-)

I am actually considering getting one as a backup for the allotment heap. Which is getting fullish. Also that would stop us having to use the silly compost-bin bags which don't compost quickly enough.

(though I'm not sure if you can get more than one subsidised per household - since yours came via our address, if I do decide to do this & they won't give me another one, I might have to get you to order it!)
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[User Picture]From: nou
2006-11-08 06:00 pm (UTC)
Sure, no problem. If I decide I want more I'm sure we can find someone to order it.
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[User Picture]From: rjw1
2006-11-08 01:19 pm (UTC)
lets all play spot the spelling mistake on the southwark council page
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[User Picture]From: nou
2006-11-08 04:49 pm (UTC)
I found three.
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[User Picture]From: mikidesade
2006-11-08 01:32 pm (UTC)
hmmm i'll have to check into this. portland is so into recycling, composting and the like that they have compost bins to go along with the recycling bins. so as a restaurant it's actually less money to have them remove it and take it to some huge community compost than the normal trash pickup. and while you can, if you have the room, have your own compost around your restaurant or home, keeping the balance just right isn't always the easiest thing. which is why lots of them smell so bad.

anyway, nice to see there's other ways. it's 5:30am and i've not had any coffee yet. have a good one!
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[User Picture]From: nou
2006-11-08 04:53 pm (UTC)
Wow, that sounds brilliant. Our council does collect garden waste for composting, but they won't take kitchen waste.
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[User Picture]From: mikidesade
2006-11-08 05:49 pm (UTC)
here's a quick link i found (i'm sitting in class supposedly listening to the instructor atm :P) http://www.portlandonline.com/osd/index.cfm?c=ebgic
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[User Picture]From: nou
2006-11-08 06:10 pm (UTC)
Oooooh, thank you, that page has a link to some useful hints on dealing with fruit flies! Will update the post to link to it.
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[User Picture]From: mikidesade
2006-11-09 01:35 am (UTC)
no prob. i wasn't able to read but a bit of it and i'm sure there's way more info on what goes on here since this seems to be the ecocity of the US ;) but it seemed like it had some good info. and yes, i jest about how they are here only cuz i think they do a damned good job :)
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[User Picture]From: mikidesade
2006-11-11 04:43 am (UTC)
thought you might be interested in this is well. he's the instructor i just had and was the one that told me about the portland composting.
http://terroirportland.com/index.html
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[User Picture]From: nou
2006-11-13 06:30 pm (UTC)
Cool, thanks, will have a poke around the site at some point!
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[User Picture]From: alan1957
2006-11-08 04:05 pm (UTC)
'ave yew given them names yet? i get that it might be a lil' bit difficult ter tell 'em apart (unless yew can train 'em ter wear different 'ats, or maybe paint 'em different colours) so i've come up wiv a cunning plan. yew could call 'em all Derek. Derek is a good name for worms.
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[User Picture]From: nou
2006-11-08 04:55 pm (UTC)
Derek it is. Are. Dereks they are.
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[User Picture]From: zaftigvegan
2006-11-08 08:18 pm (UTC)
we are also worm composters. it's an amazing process to watch and be involved in. and i never realized how cute worms could be, either.
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[User Picture]From: imc
2006-11-08 10:41 pm (UTC)
I wonder why that page says they are incorrectly called fruit flies. If they are flies, and hang around fruit…

OED defines vinegar fly as "a fruit fly".
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[User Picture]From: nou
2006-11-08 10:59 pm (UTC)
Yes, I wondered about that too.
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