When someone decides to change everything they know, and tries to hybridize city with country, where better to start than the ground up.
Vermiculture is the art of turning your leftover food scraps and flyers into luscious, rich, soil. Which in turn adds nutrients and health to your crops and thus to you. Who knew trash could be so lucrative!
Actually fall is like winning the lottery, all those incredible soil building leaves just laying there waiting for someone to realize their potential. I spent days raking up all that bounty, allowing my son and his friends a couple of runs through the piles before stashing them into garbage bags to add to the worm bin throughout the year.
You can easily build your own worm ranch by purchasing a plastic storage bin that is no more than 12-18” deep. Storage bins are great because they keep moisture in, more importantly the worms and valuable dirt. Any deeper and there is not enough air flow, allowing the pile to turn anaerobic, causing the normally odourless crop to become vile and suffocate the herd. In order to keep the air flowing and the worms breathing, you should drill several holes in the tops and sides of your bin, although if you have a shallow bin, like I do, you can get away with just placing the lid, not securing it.
This is my bin that works, on top of the one that didn't. I keep mine in the basement, far away from the litter box, apparently the worms despise cat smells and will be less productive.
I use shredded newspaper and flyer's (that do not have a shinny coating) for the nesting material. This should be moistened to the consistency of a wrung out sponge. When you add kitchen scraps be sure to add fresh newspaper or dried leaves, the skill in vermicomposting is to get the right balance between wet and dry.
In order to get the most luscious soil possible, Red Wrigglers are the worm of choice. You can use regular brown worms but they will be more difficult to work with. The benefits of using red wrigglers are that they are smaller than brown, and eat more food, producing more soil than their brown counter parts. The best place to get red wrigglers is from a breeder or a friend who already has a bin.
My happy little guy's almost ready to harvest