Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Vermicomposting: My New Fascination

It was bound to happen.  Any true blue gardener would attempt to compost at one time or another.  This is my story.

One quiet Sunday afternoon about two months ago, I took Jean on a drive to Concepcion, Marikina.  It was an hour-long drive to some faraway place.  Why?  Well about a week before, I stumbled upon an ad of a guy selling African Nightcrawlers.  Apparently, this type of worms is used for composting.  I was amazed. These worms eat organic garbage and their castings (poop) make for rich fertilizer called vermicompost.  I was hooked on the concept. After all, I am the same guy that saves rainwater to flush the toilet and uses old bottles as flower pots.  The recycling angle tickled me.

So I happily bought 250 grams worth of African Nightcrawlers for P250. Yes, they are expensive. For lack of a container to transport them in, we used the Starbucks grande cup that I just used.  Grande worms!

Over the past few months, I have been attempting to compost in a large pot, but it was just happening so slowly.  Nonetheless, that was my source of somewhat decayed organic material.  Where does that come in?

Well, to create a good environment for the worms, you need bedding made up of shredded wet newspaper and some semi-composted material.  So I put in the newspaper in the bin and added the contents from the pot I talked about.  Then I put in the worms.  

Two months and regular inputs later, here's how my bin looks like.  Still lots of green material, right?  Makes me scratch my head sometimes.  Then again I have been regularly putting in fresh stuff.  I guess for me to really observe the conversion of organic material to worm castings, I have to stop feeding the worms.  Sigh.  But it's so much fun.  Oh well.  I will try to leave this bin alone (no feeding) for about two weeks.  Let's see what it looks like then.

Next time, I'll talk about worm bin # 2.


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