"Worms Eat My Garbage"

The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out, the worms vermicompost on your trout And other food waste. Meet WormWoman, a.ka. Mary Appelhof, publisher and founder of Flowerfield Enterprises, a mail-order business of products and books related to worm composting, or vermicomposting, a system for turning food waste into potting soil with the help of worms.

"Worms eat my garbage," says WormWoman. "They've been doing it for twenty-seven years... I set up my basement worm bin with shredded newspaper, a bit of soil, and a few thousand redworms. I bury food waste in it. The worms eat it. They also eat the bacteria and protozoa and fungi and other microorganisms which decompose it. They grind and mix and secrete and excrete and eventually the food waste and bedding turns into worm castings which we use in our garden. The whole process is truly on-site recycling." Bill McDonough-type recycling, that is. Upcycling even, you might argue. (Go WormWoman!)

Books on the topic include The Worm Café: Midscale Vericomposting of Lunchroom Wastes, a manual describing how a teacher and her students developed a system that saved their school $6,000 per year. They performed a waste audit and discusses bins, bedding, maintenance, and harvesting. Another published at Flowerfield is Worms Eat My Garbage, the "definitive guide" to using redworms for recycling food waste into nutrient-rich food for plants.

Pretty neat, if you don't mind having worms as working pets in your home. Now stay tuned for "How To: Vermicomposting" ::WormWoman.com[by MO]