Thursday, December 10, 2009

Compost Worms "Recycling"

Do worms eat your garbage? We find that we produce much less household garbage by recycling and composting, but recently, I tried a new paper product disposal method. I fed a Botanus catalog to my composting worms, who live in a plastic bin in our semi-heated garage. It seemed like a fitting completion of the garden cycle; from glossy catalog to fertile worm castings that will fertilize next year's flowers from the Botanus catalog. Dear resident lawnmower-man had concerns about the dyes hurting the worms (I didn't know he felt so fondly about them), but I reassured him that most printers are using vegetable-based dyes these days.
Vermicomposting bin, with perforated inner container inside a larger container that collects excess moisture as "compost tea":

October 19, 2009: Botanus catalog destined for worm box (staples were removed):

Worm box with catalog, which I buried about 5 cm below the surface:

December 7, 2009: I was planning to avoid adding more kitchen scraps to the bin during the experiment, but our houseguests had been using the box while we were away. This didn't seem to distract the worms from the catalog too much, and I am impressed that our houseguests got friendly with the compost worms!
Worm box, seven weeks later:

Remnants of catalog left as of December 7, 2009:

The remnants resembled a bit of wet paper towel. I'm sure there will be nothing left by New Years. I guess this goes to prove that the worms enjoy the garden catalogs too!


wendy said...

I found your Blog a while back when looking for people successfully gardening in northern climates. I have enjoyed it very much, your entries are very informative and fun at the same time. Thanks! Pam and I attended a worm composting workshop a few months back and learned about all the benefits first hand. I'm so glad your worms are enjoying the vegetable based dyes of the Botanus catalogue, we will definitely be letting our worm friends browse through a copy for themselves. Hopefully they will enjoy it as much as yours have! We posted a blog about the worm workshop and here is the link if you would like to take a peek at it.
Best wishes,

Muddy Boot Dreams said...

What a great idea, really growing things forward.

I have wanted to worm compost for ages, and just before I decided to go ahead, the fire department refused to let us keep anything in the parking garage of our condo. The deck in not a good spot, too hot, and too cold. And we simply don't have indoor space available for it. As soon as I can find a good location I am going ahead with it.

Yours looks great.


Melanie said...

The tiny rural school my children used to attend had a vermicomposter for left over lunches and paper scraps. I have regular compost bins outside. It just seems easier to me to throw my compostables into the bins. In spring., after it has thawed, I turn them and add the mostly broken down stuff the garden. I do the same thing in the fall. I used to garden in the BC Peace in Zone2 . I've since moved to a rural area near Prince George BC in zone 3. I'm looking forward to reading your blog.

Christine B. said...

You made the worm composting seem doable. Now I just have to convince my husband....

CB in Alaska

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jodi (bloomingwriter) said...

Good for you doing the worm composting, including of catalogues! I haven't tried vermicomposting yet, mostly because of logistics and cats. One of these days, though. Hoping you're well and wishing you the best for the Christmas season and New Year.

quu said...

:D This post was really funny :)

Lovely new year to you :)

lisa said...

I've never challenged my worms with a whole catalog...I bet they'd enjoy it! ~~~~