Monday, January 18, 2010

Composting in January?

Believe it or not, yes, this is possible! Did you know that you can set-up an entirely indoor compost system? You can! Ok, I'm sure your next question is why in the world would I want to do this?

1) Save the earth by making less food and paper/cardboard waste!
2) Save money on plant fertilizer by feeding house plants and outdoor gardens with your compost!
3) Be hip, with-it and cool... green is in, didn't you know?

Last year I attended a composting workshop* because I had always been interested but didn't really know what it was all about. What I learned is that you don't need to have a big garden or even an outdoor space to compost! You can create an indoor composting bin out of a storage bin you probably already own. It's called Vermicompost.

Is it smelly?
Nope. It just smells like dirt. Yep, like the kind you might buy - in a bag - for your garden. The worms eat odor-causing bacteria. Just don't put any meat, dairy or oily food in and you'll be all set!

Do the worms escape?
Nope. They like it in the dark moist bin with their food. Plus, you keep a lid on it and drill only small holes for ventilation. The worms won't get out.

Here is a great video to show you everything from setting up your bin to feeding the worms:

You will need:
- A Rubbermaid style bin (buy a pre-made bin here)
- Extra bin lid or tray (to go under)
- Worms
- Handful of soil
- Shredded cardboard & newspaper

You can keep the bin in an out of the way place that is 50-80 degrees. Don't want to have to dig around in there too much? Start by placing food all on one side of the bin. When you can see you have a lot of nice compost switch sides and the worms will move over! You can get the compost out of the "done" side and keep adding food to the other side.

Don't want to have to run over to the bin every time you peel a carrot? Try our compost keeper for your kitchen scraps.

*The workshop I took was taught by Lisa Spence (from Salem Community Gardens) and hosted by Crunchy Granola Baby.

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