Vermicomposting and Vermiculture: Worms, Bins and How To Get Started
Ed. note: This is the fourth post in the Green Basics series of posts that TreeHugger is writing to provide basic information about important ideas, materials and technologies for new greenies (or those who just need a quick refresher). Read on and stay tuned!
What is vermicomposting? Why use worms?
Known also as worm compost, vermicast, worm castings, worm humus or worm manure, vermicompost is similar to plain compost, except that it uses worms in addition to microbes and bacteria to turn organic waste into a nutrient-rich fertilizer. Vermicompost, or vermiculture, most often uses two species of worms: Red Wigglers (Eisenia foetida) or Red Earthworms (Lumbricus rubellus) rarely found in soil and are adapted to the special conditions in rotting vegetation, compost and manure piles.
How does vermicomposting work?
It works like this: after procuring a container and setting it up (more on that in a sec), feed your worms the same organic waste you'd toss in a compost pile -- which includes just about all of your food waste, save the animal leftovers -- and let them have at it. They chew on it for awhile, and when they're all done eating, they poop (hey, everybody does it) and there you go: vermicompost.But, what good can worm poop really do for you? Read on for the benefits of vermicomposting.