Thanks to my new vermicompost, I have recently become familiar with the sights, sounds and smells of rotting food. I now regularly sift through last month’s meals like a forensic investigator, pulling out worms, dodging flies, separating vegetables in various stages of decomposition with my bare hands (try picking up worms while wearing garden gloves – it’s impossible), all the while retching slightly as I remind myself that it’s just a bunch of old greens and coffee grinds. Nothing to be afraid of.
My vermicompost bin was a gift from my sister, a gardening expert who created this Vermicomposting Fact Sheet that lists some great tips and tricks. After bugging me for months to take an old bin that she had parked in our mom’s garage, I finally did so on the condition that she set it up and give me a private tutorial.
The whole process has been much easier than I thought. We keep ours in the basement and except for putting stuff in and occasionally reorganizing the layers, my interaction with the what’s going on “inside the box” has been pretty minimal. When everything is closed up, the system is very clean – no smells or worm or bug leakage. And setting aside our leftover scraps each day has been a huge wake-up call to the amount of reusable trash I was previously sending to landfills.