Another paperback to find a home on my shelf is Worms Eat My Garbage: How to Set Up and Maintain a Worm Composting System. Published in 1982 by Mary Appelhoff. If you have been pondering the idea of creating your own worm bin, this book will tell you everything you need to know in a way that is clear and easy to understand. Don’t let the cartoonish illustrations fool you. This book is packed with detailed information on everything from setting up your worm bin to dealing with any problems along the way. From choosing the right container (shallow rather than tall to prevent anaerobic conditions) to detailed information on the other critters that may take up residence this book is all the reference you need to get your vermicomposting experiment off the ground.
I had always been a bit intimidated about starting my own worm bin because it seemed complicated. But after I was given a copy of “Worms Eat My Garbage” I thought I would give it a try. I shouldn’t have hesitated because it has probably been one of the easiest gardening projects I’ve ever tackled. I decided on a simple Rubbermaid type worm bin and my red worms have been chowing down on food scraps and utility bills ever since. I must say that they do suffer a bit from inattention, but they don’t seem to mind. I check them periodically when I have more waste to dump in. I give the bin a bit of a stir with a cultivator to peak at the worms progress. So far, I’ve found nothing but happy, healthy worms and bunches of worm compost on the bottom. I must have gotten the moisture/air ratio correct because there is no unpleasant smell (even when you are as close as the photo above). I simply dump in more food waste and toss some more moistened shredded paper on top. So far I’ve harvested the compost about 5 times following the instruction in to book to encourage the worms to move to one side of the bin.
If I’ve tempted you to start your own worm bin, you can find clear instruction on how to get started at Worm Composting Canada complete with videos. And if red worms are not available in your area, you can order them online at the retail site for Tip Top Bio Control.
Who should you gift this book to? Anyone interested in organic gardening and vermicomposting. Throw in pre-drilled Rubbermaid tote and some red worms and you’ll be giving a gift that can even recycle the paper it’s wrapped in.