For a more efficient compost; Vermiculture.

With the arrival of spring and the promise of summer (eventually), we are confronted with the usual suspects of chores, including yardwork, gardening and compost. For the past couple of years vermiculture has been quite good to me, essentially all you need is a large vat of earth, possibly with some kind of opening at the bottom with a fine mesh to prevent the earth from coming out, I’ll explain why in a moment. I use a large plastic flower pot with some drain holes at the bottom. Add some “starter” earthworms, it’s easy to pluck them up on a rainy day when they like to come out and make themselves all long and wormy, a dozen or so, and a lid to keep out birds and other worm eating animals like moles, raccoons and uninvited mother-in-laws. Some old newspapers can be used as well for bedding. It’s also important to drill some small holes at the top to allow for ventilation.

You simply stir the whole thing by hand once in a while and add your vegetable skins, old flowers, and whatever vegetable organic matter you would normally compost. Do not use meat or bones for it will create maggots and thereby flies. Keep out of direct sunlight and water lightly. The compost itself will not smell bad, in fact I’ve found that it keeps a fresh soil smell. Remember that small opening at the bottom of the vat? Make sure it drains into some kind of pan, that “juice” that you obtain is possibly the best organic fertilizer available and can be used in gardens for vegetables and flowers. Later in the season, when you rip your garden out, simply stir in the remaining earth from the vermiculture, complete with worms, the next year that garden will be graciously fertile.

There you have it, not only will you have fishing worms for a while, and the best organic fertilizer available, but you will be able to gloat in your greenness. Whether it exists as a word, or not.

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