Kitchen Compost With Worms?
Kitchen Compost: Setting Up a Worm Composting System Inside
Composting is generally regarded as the use of large specialised bins to generate compost for large farms, an option unavailable to the small apartment dweller. However, options that allow small apartment owners to compost in their homes are available e.g. vermicomposting. Composting indoors entails the use of ordinary household waste to produce an excellent soil amendment that enhances plant health.
This post exposes its readers to in-house composting techniques and the equipment necessary to succeed.
Indoor Composting with Organic Kitchen Waste
All homes generate food scraps for disposal. Trashing these scraps is like throwing away valuable resources. Composting is a much better alternative: the resulting material can be beneficial to potted plants and gardens.
In brief, composting can be perceived as the process by which organic material is converted from an unstable product to an increasingly stable product. Natural products are usually referred to as unstable because they are likely to decompose and create pungent odours while compost is referred to as stable because it can be stored without being offensive. A vast population of microorganisms and invertebrates, “decomposers,“ influence the process of decomposition.
Vermicomposting entails the use of worms as the primary decomposition agents. The raw organic waste is converted into a humus-like, nearly stable material. The process occurs as the waste passes through the worm’s gut through the digestion process. Worms aerate and stir the pile, thus turning is not necessary. The resultant material is referred to as vermicompost and the material that goes through the gut of the worm is called castings. The vermicompost is mostly made of castings, but also contains material decomposed by microorganisms.
Creating a Suitable Environment for your Worms
Worms require an environment that is damp, but not too wet because they may drown. The decomposition bin should provide the appropriate conditions for the worms to live in: the material should be soft and discharge a
few drops of water when pressed.
Different worm types have different environmental needs, but the Eisenia Fetida , the recommended worm-type for a composting bin, survives at temperatures between 35F and 100F, thriving optimally at 65F and 78F. It is prudent to put a cover on your bin since worms do not like light.
Equipment: How to Set Up a Kitchen Compost
Use a 12 to 20 gallon plastic tub made of rubber or dark plastic. Puncture holes in the bottom, and place a plastic tray of parallel size beneath to trap liquids that sip through. Support the tub on one or two blocks to allow adequate air circulation.
Add worm comforters and moisten until the area feels spongy. The comforter should contain natural, carbon-rich materials, for example, paper shreds or sawdust. Worms will eat it in addition to any products you supply them with, so you need to refill it periodically.
Add 1 lb of Eisenia Fetida worms, and then cover the bin. If the bin is in a poorly aerated area, say, under the kitchen sink, puncture the lid to improve air circulation.
Add food scraps, but bury them in the comforter to reduce pest problems and odours. Avoid including dairy products, fatty foods, and meat products. Also, limit the amount of citrus fruits you feed them since acidic products are difficult to digest. To aid digestion, add a teaspoonful of uncontaminated soil or sand.
When rich, brown soil starts appearing on top of the bin, understand that your worms have generated compost that is ready for use. Take out the egg sacs and the worms from the casting and begin the process anew.