It’s Gold For The Gardener
Who would get excited about worms? Well, Emily does and by the end of our October Garden Club meeting, many members and guests were all talking about… you guessed it – worms. Not just any worms. Red Wigglers, that produce that gold for gardeners while using up our kitchen waste.
I found it difficult to remember to take pictures while Emily was enthusiastically describing the process she uses for general gardening composting and then moving on to her higher passion for the little wigglers.
She described composting as fun, good exercise, cheap and environmentally sound, a way to increase the organic content of the soil, invigorating the soils food web, providing nutrients, moisture and a habitat for a huge range of beneficial life forms.
Emily explained that in most soils you can achieve a fertile soil by adding 3” of compost annually by composting kitchen and yard waste (with a few exceptions like meat/fish, bones, milk)
Raised beds, a small greenhouse, a rotation of composting bins and a large pile of leaves can be seen waiting to be added where next needed.
A description of compost systems, principals and mixtures were reviewed.
It was easy to see the smile broaden across Emily’s face when she continued her presentation.
Vermicomposting holds a special place in her household. As with composting, the benefits are numerous. Emily explained that it is a great way to deal with some of our kitchen scraps and get rich soil conditioner for our plants. A vermicompost bin does not require a lot of space (ie: under the kitchen sink). Bedding is the medium the worms live in and also serves as part of their diet. It should be moist, but not soggy wet and light in texture. Shredded newspaper is a common choice. Emily added compost soil and a small amount of kitchen scraps. Feeding the worms one to three times a week is usually sufficient.
Outdoor vermicomposting is also possible. A well built large, lined bin serves this purpose producing three large wheelbarrow loads of “Gardener’s Gold” for use each spring.
Joan was thrilled to take home the bin that Emily used while explaining the “under the sink” set up and members were happy to accept a take-home brown-bag treat of compost for use on indoor plants.