You asked - the eco geek
By: Steve Brearton
The occasional meal of eggshells and orange pekoe is a great way for
any - plant to start their day. Eggshells are made largely of calcium
carbonate, an essential plant nutrient and black tea is a natural fertilizer.
Another tailor-made solution for apartment dwellers is to vermicompost
your waste using worms.
"Worms are the perfect little pets," says Cathy Nesbitt, owner of Cathy's
Crawly Composters of Bradford, Onto cathyscomposters.com "They work
for scraps and produce black gold." - in other words, nutrient-rich
soil. You can buy a wormcomposting kit online from Nesbitt for $74.95.
Or just buy the worms for $25 to $45 and assemble your own container
using something you already have such as an old wooden box or bin, a
lid and a tray for the aerated container to sit in.
For every pound of organic food waste, you'll need two pounds of red
wiggler worms, the most efficient breed for composting. If you keep
your vermicomposter out on your balcony, it must be brought indoors
and kept in a dark, quiet place - perhaps under the sink - when the
temperature reaches 4 degrees Celsius.
Worms are self-propagating and self-regulating and their castings won't
smell if they're not overfed. They won't compost all your kitchen scraps
- meat, dairy, grains, oily foods or sauces should be excluded - but
their output is ideal for making your plants healthier. For a good primer
and a list of vermicomposting and worm suppliers across Canada, visit
Vancouver's City Farmer
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