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May. 10, 2005
Worm composting
I held a vermicomposting workshop here last Thursday. What's that you ask? Well, I'll tell you.

We set up an office worm bin to eat some of the food waste we produce here in the office. That's right, banana peels, coffee grounds, old salad (without a lot of goopy dressing though) can all be fed to our newest office pets, 1,000 Red Wigglers that get to live in our warehouse in a bin called a Wriggly Ranch. I love talking about compost, and teaching about it is great because it spurs people into thinking about what we more often than not chuck into the garbage can, which ultimately ends up in the landfill. Landfill bad, composting good. Well, you get the picture.

The worms get delivered from the Sonoma Valley Worm Farm. They arrive via UPS in a little cardboard box (waxed interior) in a little moist compost, the box has some airholes poked into the sides. A pound of worms is about 1,000, but once they get in the Wriggly Ranch in their nice, moist bedding and food, they start to eat, and reproduce to twice that amount, and so on.

There will be a worm castings harvest here in about six months, and we'll be giving these castings to employees who want them to put on their houseplants and/or garden plants. The castings are sometimes called "Black Gold" or the Cadillac of Compost because of its high nitrogen content.

Right now, the worms are quietly getting used to their new environment, and so far so good. Sometimes, when you start a worm bin, the worms will crawl up to the underside of the lid, and hang out there, but then they get hungry and eventually settle into their routine of eating everything in sight, including the nice moist newspaper you put on top of them. These worms didn't do that, so I guess the conditions were as Goldilocks once said, just right.

I'll let you know from time to time how the worms are doing.
Posted by:
Mary Kate
Office Life

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