Vermicomposting: Composting with Worms
What is vermicomposting?
Vermicomposting, or worm composting, is different than traditional composting.
Worm composting is a process that uses red earthworms, also commonly called redworms, to consume organic waste, producing castings (an odor-free compost product for use as mulch), soil conditioner, and topsoil additive. Naturally occurring organisms, such as bacteria and millipedes, also assist in the aerobic degradation of the organic material. Commercially available worm composting bins make it fairly simple to do your own vermicomposting indoors.
Vermicomposting is especially useful for processing food scraps, since the worms consume the material quickly and there are fewer problems with odor. Worm composting does not generate temperatures high enough to kill pathogens. For this reason, vermicomposting is more appropriate for food, paper, and yard waste.
Food scraps should be chopped or shredded for faster degradation. Unprocessed materials can be used in vermicomposting, but the time required for complete degradation of the organic waste is generally six months or longer. Vermicomposting does not require a specific carbon-to-nitrogen ratio like traditional aerobic composting methods.
Links to more worm composting information
Worm World – a great place to buy redworms and worm castings.
Worms Eat My Garbage, the best book on worm composting from Amazon.com.