Monday, June 27, 2011

Overfeeding Your Bin Tip: Vermicomposting Adventures in Quezon City

One of the most common tips you'll see when vermicomposting is to avoid overfeeding your worms.  Sounds familiar?  It's bad for your bin because too much materials decompose at the same time, causing your bin to smell bad.  At the same time, the decomposition will eat up the bin's oxygen, thereby depriving your worms.  I've experienced that first hand. 

Now, I never seem to have enough worms because people buy worm bins from me.  However, I have managed to vermicompost every organic waste in the house.  Here's one technique that has worked for me recently.

I put a week's worth of organic waste (with shredded paper of course) in my bin.  That's a lot!  I usually have to spread that out into several bins.  Instead of doing that though, I just put the contents inside a paper bag (thank you Starbucks) or a small cardboard box (Nesvita, light bulbs, etc), I close or seal it and then I put that inside the bin.  I don't bother to moisten the bag or box.  After all, when the organic matter decomposes, it will release moisture.  The worms eat from under the bag when the time is right.   It's great because the bin doesn't smell or attract insects. 

At one point, I had about 100 grams of worms left in a semi big bin (3x1x1.5 feet) because I scraped to provide a customer with his requirements.  About two weeks later, I put in an entire melon (rinds only of course) inside a starbucks bag.  They finished it and there was no smell at all.  Cool huh?  Just the other day, I also had a rotten melon (what a waste, right?).  This time around, I placed the entire melon (not just the rinds) in a big paper bag, wrapped the bag around a little to close the hole and dumped it into the bin.  I'm betting the worms will finish that in about two weeks.  Once again, no smell. 

Try it both ways.  Get identical small bins with minimal worms.  Put lots of food in both, but bag it in one.  See if the technique works for you too.  ;-)


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