We Get Greener Kit Cassingham & her Bigger Half

Video: Feeding My Compost Worms

My Bigger Half is such a sport. He made a video of me working with my worms and I've extracted from that video session the parts specifically about feeding my worms. It's a messy job, and I look forward to doing it.

I feed my worms produce scraps from our meals. I've not been sharing many of the "past prime" flowers I have in the house because I figure they have even more pesticides than my non-organic produce, and I want to keep my worms on a low to pesticide-free diet.

I've learned egg shells and avocado skins don't break down readily in the worm bin. I have started cutting my banana peels into smaller bits so they break down faster. Moist fruits and vegetables disappear faster than stems and stringier vegetables, but as long as the pieces aren't too big the worms finish them all off pretty quickly.

You can read the article Compost Via My Worm Bins (the link is below) to support the information you get from this video.


Related Article:
Compost Via My Worm Bins

Comments

Thanks for the video instruction. I've wanted to try making a worm bin since you started blogging about it, but felt like it was a little too foreign. I could probably do this... ;-)

Michelle McEntire at July 31, 2010 12:59 AM

Worms are great.
Such small creatures.
Such great producers.
No complaints.
No demands.
Just recycling fanatics.

Peyton Morgan at July 31, 2010 6:58 AM

The wife mentioned that worms don't like "shiny" paper. That's because of what makes it shiny. Traditionally it was called "Chromecoat" paper which was paper covered with a thin film of clay based material, so the halftone color inks would show up more distinctly. Today manufacturers also use a plastic sort of coating, both of which are hard for anything to digest.

Kim at July 31, 2010 11:24 AM

Michelle,

I plan on producing a video about how to make a worm bin later. That may give you the balance of the confidence you want/need to proceed with your own. It's not difficult, IMHO. And it's very rewarding.


-Kit

Kit Cassingham at July 31, 2010 3:01 PM

Peyton,

You are a poet of Worm excellence!


-Kit

Kit Cassingham at July 31, 2010 3:34 PM

Kim,

I guess you are talking about me when you refer to "the wife". :~) Thanks for filling in the blank of what shiny paper is and why it's bad for worms.

I'm surprised to learn the clay is hard to digest, but I sure understand how the plastic is hard to digest.


-Kit

Kit Cassingham at July 31, 2010 3:41 PM

Kind of eeewwwww! But kind of cool!
What do you DO with the worms, or the by-product?

Do you periodically dump some of into your garden or landscape??

We live in Florida, deep in the woods--it's almost like a jungle here. Lots of worms, most anyplace you dig, especially shady areas, which our property is mostly heavily shaded. If we want fishing worms, we can have a bunch in just 10-15 minutes.

A few times, I tried bleaching something out...a trash can or whatever, right off the edge of the porch. When I poured out the bleachy water, the worms in the soil, started coming to the surface....I felt really horrible about that....But I guess we've got lots of earthworms already.

Kathi at August 1, 2010 6:25 PM

Kathi,

The Environmental Knuckle Dragger goes with you on the "eeewwwww!" sentiment. ;~) I played with worms and grubs as a kid so they don't bother me in the least; I guess that means I'm in the "cool!" sentiment camp.

I used the compost to plant my seed starts; article with pictures coming later. I'll be using it improve my greenhouse soil and maybe even to mulch my lavender.

Earthworms are good for turning the soil and working outdoor compost piles, but not the worm you use in a worm compost bin. And the red worms of the worm compost bin don't do well outside, at least in my neighborhood.

Don't you hate learning about environmental harm *after* the fact?!?!? That bleach water probably wasn't the worst thing you could have done to the worms or the dirt, but still... bummer. I have ruined too many things, including my skin and lungs, to keep bleach around or use it for anything.


-Kit

Kit Cassingham at August 2, 2010 4:30 PM

I worked for Dow Jones a few years back (1994-1998), and one interesting fact that I learned there was that the Wall Street Journal was one of the preferred newspapers for people who used newspapers in cooking fires. It seems that the WSJ, at least at that time, used vegetable based ink. You are putting newspaper into the compost, and if it might end up as vegetable garden fertilizer, she may want to verify the composition of the ink used.

One other simple method of recycling, especially for anyone who has a wood-burning stove or a good fireplace (with an insert so you do not lose more energy that is produced). One co-worker had a hand powered machine to tightly roll newspaper into logs, he claimed that a newspaper log burned Hlonger than some wood.

Hyman at August 2, 2010 4:39 PM

Hyman,

Thanks for sharing your concerns about what I'm feeding my worms. I know about the dangers of traditional ink but didn't stop to think about what I was doing to my worms or their castings. So, because of your question, I called the paper to get an answer.

Whew! We do use soy-based ink for our papers. I missed that bullet!

One problem I've heard about using those paper logs is that the paper doesn't burn as hot as hardwoods do so you get more build up in your chimney or smokestack. People who use that fuel source need to get their chimney's checked more frequently, and probably should burn a good hot fire "frequently" to knock down that build up that's so dangerous.

-Kit

Kit Cassingham at August 2, 2010 4:42 PM

About paper logs not burning as hot as hardwoods, so possibly gunking up the chimney or smokestack: they're free, so you can afford to have the chimney sweep come fairly often.

A smart Yankee I knew on Cape Cod used pitch pine trees people had cut down and didn't want to burn
as his main source of firewood. Having his chimneys cleaned once a month was way cheaper than buying hardwood fire wood!

Carol at August 2, 2010 9:34 PM

Carol,

You have an interesting point. Chimney sweeping isn't cheaper than a month's worth of wood where we live, but your points are well taken. Do a thorough analysis of your situation to help you decide what the cheapest heat source is. Just be very careful since chimney fires can be devastating.


-Kit

Kit Cassingham at August 2, 2010 11:18 PM

Kit -- I've had a worm bin indoors for many years. Here's my blog about it. I'm using a blender to mush their food and "shred" the bills and other papers.

-- Jan (that Mensa nut who sent Randy the python in a Santa hat last Xmas)

Jan at August 4, 2010 2:28 PM

Jan,

You must live in a warmer climate than I do, based on your used of banana leaves. :~) Do you find that the worms migrate up or down your bin collection without assistance, or do you need to help them along?

As was pointed out to me, be careful that the ink on the various printed paper items you "serve" your worms not be petroleum based so you don't poison them or the plants you feed your castings too later.

Thanks for sharing your worm bin project!


-Kit

Kit Cassingham at August 12, 2010 2:33 PM
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