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Its becoming quite popular, vermi-composting. The only thing I don't like are the probable fruit flies to come of it. I don't know how or where, but somehow they show up with fruit/veggies that sit. I have a little pile, outside that I rarely turn and thats where the stuff goes. What will all the people without soil do with their compost product? Maybe a citywide, or neighborhood wide depot where you can drop off the goods for others to utilize!

For those without gardens or houseplants to use the compost they are creating, they could donate it to community gardening projects.

Vermiposting is really getting mainstream now with style and fashion showing up in the kits sold some places. While it makes me cringe a bit to think of fashionable bins, anything that gets people doing good things is fine by me!

I found it strange that the article hardly mentioned the benefits of compost in a garden.

Is the last line of this article a joke?

Kind of a strange article - certainly wouldn't convince many people to try vermicomposting (or any type of composting for that matter). I'm with Michele on this - strange that the article focused on emission of greenhouse gases (which is so far removed from the everyday life of most people) instead of the benefits of compost (which would seem to be a more immediate concern, or have a more personal and direct impact). Maybe if they focused on the personal benefits of it, more people would take up composting. As it is, the people featured in this article sounded a little strange (especially that part about taking up half the freezer with scraps and sending it out to California!).

To all the doubters and skeptics out there: try vermicomposting first, then you can criticize it. It's addictive. I started my worm composting almost a year ago and I'm really hooked. And I don't think I'm "a little strange." In fact, I think I'm about as average a person as you'll find. Worms are kind of spiritual.

I'm not bothered at all by all the worms in my compost. It's the roaches that gross me out. They're one of the few things I hate about living in Florida. But they are great recyclers, so I keep reminding myself of that each time I feel a vomiting reflex from seeing them in my bin. I just send them running, take out some wormy compost, try to forget the horror I just witnessed, and start separating. It's worth it in the end.

Completely agree - I'm an almost fanatical composter myself (I'll even pull things out of the trash if my boyfriend forgets to put it in the compost bin!). If people would donate food scraps to me I'd be very happy! I was merely commenting on the way the article was written - the author made the people look, well, somewhat odd.

I have a compost heap in my back yard, fed with veg scraps, leaves, eggshells.... is there any reason why I can't just set loose some red wigglers in there (when warm enough), knowing that they will probably die when it gets cold again here in DC?

I can't think of any other than the cold temps...I guess I've never understood the point of getting a special composter for worms, when I just put worms in my regular composter and they seem to do really well. Actually, I started with earthworm eggs, and suddenly there was a huge worm community in the bin. The compost goes a lot faster now than before I had the worms.

This was meant for "Not That Susan" above...

Hmmmm. Well. Confession time. Although I brag constantly about how much I love my worms, I don't think there's a power on this earth, or elsewhere, that could get me to love composting cockroaches. "Vomiting reflex" indeed.

TELL ME ABOUT IT. I'm struggling as it is to just respect their role in the whole process, and if I could control it, they wouldn't be involved at all. But I'm not about to spray a bunch of pest control stuff in my compost. So at least they're useful.

Brie you've inspired me. I'm going to spend some mental time on the issue of (shudder...I hate even typing the word) cockroaches. I too want to "respect their role" in the process. I wonder if their castings are as useful as worm castings? Worms have those digestive juices that act to break down organic matter. And those nice gizzards for acting on sand and other minerals. And those nice long alimentary canals for processing everything. Too bad Darwin didn't write a book about roaches.

Ha! Have at it. While I have no idea if their castings are anywhere near as good as those of an earthworm, I do know they are part of my region's ecosystem, that their excrement does provide nutrients for the soil. As hideous as they are, they certainly have their places (usually in the oak trees surrounding my property...bleh).

From a HowStuffWorks article:
"Many cockroaches live in warm, tropical areas and feed on decaying wood and leaves. They help break down this organic debris; in the process, they add nutrients to the soil through their waste. They're also a food source for small reptiles and mammals. In other words, in spite of their bad reputation, cockroaches are ­an important part of many ecosystems."

So as much as I hate to admit it, they're my friends. But I prefer the worms.

Makes perfect sense. I think for now I'll refer to them as palmetto bugs, which makes them so much easier to think about. From someplace out there on the internet: "Roaches indoors are roaches. Roaches outside -- for example, in your compost -- are palmetto bugs, and there's nothing wrong with them or any other bug in your compost."

Amen to that! I think I'll do the same.

I think the roach complaint here is inside. We're talking vermicomposting, we're talking inside. So are we drawing roaches into the kitchen, or where ever, in the house?

I do what I can to keep them out, short of pesticides, knowing how infested the apartment was before I moved in. Thankfully, I rarely find one now, and usually only after the cats have played with it to death.

I know the outdoor roaches, I had them in NM, mostly outside, under pots and things. Bugs outside are bugs, love em.

Reason for a special composter: a worm bin can be a very easy way to deal with kitchen scraps without making a trek to the compost pile, and you very quickly get rich castings that can go right into houseplants, container plants, or straight in the garden, especially when you're putting in new plants. Some people prefer not to put food in their outdoor compost pile because they don't want to attract critters.

Worm composting is a little different in that it's very much a closed system, and you're putting in those scraps that worms can break down quickly--as opposed to my outdoor pile, which gets bulky cuttings, etc.

Sorry--got off topic!

The best solution to the fruit fly thing is one that does not get mentioned often enough when we talk about worms--putting a thick layer of shredded paper on top of the food scraps. Either shredded office paper or torn-up strips of newspaper. Really pile it on. However much space there is between the food scraps and the lid of your bin should be filled with shredded paper. It will gradually break down--worms will work their way through it--and it keeps fruit fly problems to a minimum.

It also helps regulate moisture--if the bin is too wet, the dry paper will absorb some of that dampness. If the bin is too dry, just toss a few ice cubes into the shredded paper and let them slowly melt -- the paper will become uniformly damp and help hold dampness in without drenching the bin.

OK, I see...thanks! I know this article was about vermicomposting indoors, but I've just kept a nice worm population in my outdoor compost and it's always worked out great, so I think of that as vermicomposting as well.

Sorry for disregarding the indoors aspect of the discussion, which I feel a little silly about now...since reading the stuff again it's basically screaming at me. Is there a button I'm not seeing for deleting my own comments?

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