Got worms? If you don’t, consider getting some! Vermiculture is a fast easy way to turn your food waste into rich compost fertilizer to help your garden grow. Table scraps, vegetable trimmings, coffee grounds, pizza boxes, used paper towels and napkins can be combined with newspaper, cardboard, leaves, or lawn clippings to feed the worms in your worm bin. In just a few weeks you will have fine finished organic compost which is highly desirable for vegetable seedlings.
Seattle Tilth in the Good Shepherd Center by the Community Garden at N 50th and Sunnyside sells red wiggler worms for vermiculture. For $11 you can pick up worms-to-go in a paper take-out container.
A properly maintained worm bin has an earthy smell like the freshly watered rich soil of a potted plant or the aroma of a commercial green house. Worm bins take many forms and sizes. They can have multiple modules or one single compartment. They can be made of wood, plastic, cloth, or pottery. They can be kept outside, in the garage, or even inside your house. They can even be cleverly disguised as a piece of furniture for your kitchen or livingroom!
The key to a happy healthy good smelling worm bin is keeping plenty of bedding which is moist but not soggy. For more information, it’s hard to beat the classic book on the topic: Worms Eat My Garbage by Mary Appelhof.
Worms and worm bins are an important piece of the sustainability solution, because they make composting your own garbage so easy, even for homes with limited outdoor space. Some cities (like Seattle) have a special garbage pickup for compostable food waste which cuts down on garbage going to landfills and create a valuable compost source. But the financial and environmental costs for the pickup trucks can be avoided completely by composting garbage yourself at home with worms!