Saturday, April 3, 2010

A New Addition to the Rational Living Family

That's right readers! There's a new addition to the Rational Living household. Don't worry, there's no pitter-patter of little fact, there's no feet at all!

We now have a wormery! Our very own vermicomposting system! They're quite simple to make; ours was made with a plastic tote bin, 2 bricks, an extra screen, a plank of wood, dirt, shredded paper and small amounts of compost-able material. We already had all of these supplies, so our materials cost was zero.

All we had to do was add the right kind of worms. And thanks to a generous gift from Karla (an experienced vermicomposter who found herself with too many worms), around one pound of worms were mixed into our own bin today.
These hardworking little guys and gals...wait, these worms are hermaphrodites...well, then I guess each worm IS a guy and a gal...anyhoo...these little critters will happily decompose the following household waste:
  • Rotting fruits and vegetables
  • Vegetable and fruit peels
  • Coffee grounds
  • Tea bags
  • Stale grains (bread, cracker and cereal)
  • Eggshells (rinsed off)
  • Leaves and grass clippings (if needed to neutralize the pH)
In return we get year-round composting and vermicompost (in layman's terms, worm poop) which is an excellent fertilizer for the vegetable garden. And, if we decide to go fishing we have a ready supply of bait.

As you may be able to tell from the photo, we are keeping the wormery in a corner of the basement, where the occupants should be happy with a near-constant temperature. Come summer we may need to redesign the screen cover to keep any flies out, but we will deal with that when the time comes.

In the meantime, we'll be saving our compostable waste in a little jar on the kitchen counter and take it down to the worms a few times a week (the girls are already in heated discussions as to who gets to feed the worms first). Any excess material will be tossed into our regular compost bin outside.

I haven't been able to find any information about the use of worm bins during WWII, but I believe the reuse of kitchen scraps falls within the spirit of "use it up!" And who knows, maybe the results will make our Victory Garden that much more victorious!

--Rational Mama


  1. Kuddos to you for being brave enough!

    I've had vermicomposting on my "to do" list for well over a year and a half and keep chickening out.

    I'll admit it's the possibility of attracting flies and other insects that oosh me out.

  2. I'll let you know how it goes. I think come summer we'll definitely have to devise a new lid to keep the bugs out!