No, it's not the title of a horror movie from our dvd collection. . .
We welcomed a pound of red wrigglers (known as the Dew-ey family, even if they are not dew worms) to our branch in late February to start a new vermicomposting project. This has already been very successful at Nose Hill Library, whence our worms came. Scraps of staff lunches and dinners will feed our new friends. Since it seems we're having another seemingly endless cold season this year, composting inside just makes sense.
We are using a lidded plastic bin with a plastic heat register vent from the hardware store. You can use the inside bottom edge of the vent to draw an outline template so that you can cut an accurate hold for the vent so that it can be inserted snugly into the lid of the bin. I used a utility knife to cut through the plastic.
We made "bedding" from a damp (but not sodden) mix of shredded cardboard rolls and office paper, newsprint, and dry leaves saved from a garden.
So far we are using only fruit and vegetable scraps, tea leaves, and coffee grounds. We quickly learned that items in the cabbage family make an um...er...fragrant addition to the bin and are best avoided. We will be freezing and thawing food scraps before feeding the worms, to prevent fruit fly problems, as instructed by Green Calgary's website (formerly Clean Calgary). Nose Hill branch recommended a 2L milk carton for food scraps as the right amount to feed per week and it fits nicely in the freezer and on the countertop.
"Dew-ey" Family Diary:
Week One: Our worms arrive from Nose Hill in an ice cream pail covered with a tea cosy (sub-zero weather outside). We added water to the bedding to moisten it.
No need for wormo-phobia...no escapees. No visible worms, in fact, as they've migated down to the bottom of the bin...a good sign that they have transitioned from being "in transit" to "checked in" and happy.
Are they really there? Oops, we missed a feeding until after the weekend, but all seems well. I needed to moisten the shredded paper on the top of the bedding as it had dried out a bit.
Week Four: Wow!The brussel sprouts are pretty much gone. We've been leaving the vent fully open for good air circulation.
Week Five: ...really impressed by how active the worms are and how low-maintenance. All we have to do is feed weekly and turn over the bedding a little now and then to keep it moist.