Well, here's an easy in-home composting solution that may be what you're looking for.
The following is a guest post written by my other half, Cody, who has
done all the research and came up with a method that works for us.
He is the handiest man I know and can build just about anything,
although this can also work for the handyman challenged, too.
For a while Jessica and I have expressed an interest in composting but have not actually got around to starting one. After looking through several different designs and actually considering a big forced-air, self-stirring composting beast, I came across this awesome and easy vermicomposter.
It uses worms to digest food scraps, coffee grounds, tea bags, and shredded paper into nutrient and microbial rich dirt. You’d think that something like this would smell, but this doesn’t seem to be a problem unless it gets unbalanced. The simple antidote is more shredded paper. Towards the end of this Instructable, others have posted pictures of their own variations. Check out the one built into the pantry that is regularly tended by the four-year-old. That’s my favorite.
I built the frame for our vermicomposter out of poplar. These were some leftover pickets from a previous job. I like to hold on to things for later, when I figure out what to do with them. The fabric I used is the same as instructed (Ecospun felt, made from recycled bottles.) I found it at wally world for just under 4 bucks. Be sure to check the widths of the felt. I assumed it would be 72 inches wide and it turned out to be 58 inches. I had to go back to get a little more. I picked up some bola style cinches and already had some parachute cord on hand for the drawstrings. I recommend using a sewing machine unless you’re just really fast at sewing. It took me all day.
I started out thinking that I’d just dig up the worms. I went out in the backyard with a trowel and found some soft areas. Nothing. I thought, Oh, it’s just cold, let me dig a little deeper. Not a single worm. I looked online again and realized I needed to walk over to the barn and check the stalls for manure. I don’t know when animals last used that barn, but I know they left their mark. However, the next day it snowed, and about the same time I realized that I was going to need about 1000 worms. I figured I’d be pretty lucky to come up with even a hundred worms on a nice day much less a thousand in the freezing cold. So I ordered worms. I searched and compared different worm growers and went with triplegwormfarm.com. They sell a pound of worms for $22.50 with free shipping and are only a state away from us, which helps lower the real costs of shipping. I liked that they kept in touch with me by e-mail until my order had shipped.
The worms came packaged with bedding enclosed in cheesecloth and insulated with shredded newspaper. I first put a handful of shredded newspaper in the composter. Then I dumped in the worms with their bedding. I cut up an old apple and squash, putting the pieces on top along with some coffee grounds and a teabag. I covered everything with more shredded newspaper and sprayed with water.
Here is a slideshow, click on the photo itself to go to the next one.
Wanna go back? Clicking on the thumbnails will take you there.
A big thank you to Cody for taking the time to share your experience with everyone.
Who knows, maybe he'll be back sometime to do another guest post!?!?
If you remember, it was only a few weeks ago that composting was on our
"5 things we could do to be more green" list, and now it has been put in place!
Now, we will reduce the amount of food waste that goes to the landfill where it turns
into methane, a greenhouse gas that is harmful to the environment. According to others
who use this form of in-home composting, worm composting does not create a stench.......
I suppose we'll soon find out for ourselves!
If you have any questions for Cody,
you can leave them in the comment section or
send me an email, and I will forward it to him.