Vermicomposting uses worms to transform organic waste into high-quality compost. Worms can continually process small additions of waste, whereas the addition of new scraps to a small composting bin can easily throw standard composting systems off kilter. Worms add nutrients to soil. The “casts” that have passed through a worm contain up to eight times as many nutrients as their feed.
Paper and Cardboard Reuse
You can use shredded newspaper or computer paper as the bedding material for worms during the vermicomposting process. Vermicomposters recommend mixed bedding, so use a combination of newsprint and computer paper, together with some cardboard. Avoid using any shredded cardboard that has been used for insulation because it may have been treated with chemicals that will harm the worms.
School lunch programs have had significant success with diverting waste to vermicomposting programs. This saves the school money. According to "The Worm Guide," a resource on vermicomposting distributed by the state of California, schools that were part of a vermicomposting test project saw savings of about $6 per student thanks to the waste-conversion benefits of worm farms. The farms convert waste into vermicompost that can be sold.
Using the vermicompost as a rich compost fertilizer is a great way to grow your own extraordinarily healthy garden without having to purchase chemical or manufactured fertilizers. Vermicompost usually goes twice as far as regular compost when preparing new beds or growing beds, according to the Journey to Forever website. City dwellers who don’t have the space to have a large compost pile can use vermicomposting to generate concentrated compost for themselves.
Using vermicompost as the base of compost tea--a way of enriching soil by spraying nutrient-entriched water on gardens, organic gardens and large farms--has received significant attention as a result of the efforts of Mary Appelhof, a pioneer in the science of vermicomposting. According to Appelhof, compost tea distributes protozoa to rejuvenate the soil by eating bacteria and producing nitrogen, which plants can use. Fungus distributed by compost tea brings additional nutrients to the soil, and beneficial organisms coat leaf surfaces to act as a barrier shield to pathogens.
Catalina Logan began writing professionally in 2005. She has been an editor for “Kopa” literary magazine and her work appeared in the publication as well. A fitness and outdoors enthusiast, Logan is a long-distance runner and has scaled the highest peaks of Malaysia and Vietnam. Logan holds a Bachelor of Arts in American studies from Yale University.