Vermiculture follow-up

Back in January I wrote about the new law in the state of California requiring residents to compost their food waste, and how thrifty, self-reliant people like those in the #resalelife community could turn that government overreach into a positive thing for themselves and their communities using vermiculture. You can find my original blog post here: 

Apartment Vermiculture

I have been using my composting set-up for a few months now and want to provide an update on how it is going, and share some new things I have learned along the way.

In my original post, I speculated that my food waste might outpace the capacity of my composter, and I was right. After about 60 days, my worms were just not able to keep up. When adding new scraps I was finding uneaten food. I had started with about 50 red wrigglers. Even though worms can eat about half their body weight each day, 50 isn’t very many. I have also learned that the worms will be more effective if I take the extra time to chop up my vegetable food scraps. I had been lazy about doing this, but when I begin composting again I will be sure to chop up the bigger pieces. This will not only help the worms process the food more efficiently, but also take up less space in the container at the outset. Here is a nice article I found about care and feeding of your composting worms: 

Care And Feeding Of Worms

I have been leaving them alone for the past three weeks or so to give them a chance to catch up. I also figure that a few weeks of quiet time will give the worm population a chance to grow, and increase the composting capacity. I have learned that the worms can double their numbers about every three months, so as long as my original worms are healthy and happy, I should be getting to about 100 worms this month. Here is a good primer on worms’ reproductive cycle: 

Reproductive Cycle of Composting Red Worms

Throughout the project my composting bin has maintained a wholesome, earthy smell. I have had no problem with odor. There have, however, been an abundance of tiny flies and fruit flies, and when I open the lid I find them swarming in there. I am sure this is because I have not buried my scraps deeply enough. I will watch and see if the little flies reduce or go away as the compost bin fallows over the next few weeks. Since I am composting outside, the little flies have not been too much trouble, but I do hate finding them in the house on occasion. 

I hope sharing my experiences with composting will inspire you to try it, or at least that you have learned something interesting. If you enjoy this content please share it with others on your social media account, like, and comment!

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