Thursday, May 04, 2006

Vermicomposters Alive!

It's a cool day outside and the plants are in suspended animation, so I finished off the second worm-composter unit for the garage. I bought the two plastic containers at WalMart so that one can fit nicely in the other with two pieces of 2x2 lumber under the inner container, so that liquid ("compost tea") can collect underneath. I used bonsai pot mesh and bonsai wire to secure the mesh (both purchased online) over 16 holes drilled into the container for air circulation.

I used a deep-box sieve (from Lee Valley Tools) to collect some worms and uncomposted kitchen scraps from the old box for the new box -- a process I imagine to be akin to panning for gold. Compost is mixed with coconut coir (from Lee Valley) which is a bedding material for the worms. Other materials can be used, but I find the coir to produce a nice finished product and I understand that it's a waste product of the coconut industry. Just ship it all to La Ronge, you tropical coconut farmers! We'll send you some lovely beaver pelts in return...

The fine product of the worm composter -- worm poop to be exact -- is mixed with potting soil and used to pot up plants in the indoor grow-op. It's a great organic fertilizer. Ironically, I just finished repotting two bell pepper plants I found growing in the compost bin. I thought tonight as I sat on the dog food pail and sieved for some more precious worm poop: they really should have these things in space! Now if only we had a composting toilet...recycling truly knows no bounds.

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