Cathy's Crawly Composters, Vermicomposting, Indoor composting with Red Wiggler Worms


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Cathy's Crawly Composters


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The Liberal

February 16, 2006

1 lb. of Worms. Photo by Rick Nesbitt
Red wigglers eat about half their body weight each day and produce rich compost indoors.

Too cold to go out, bring compost in

By Serena Willoughby

Don't let frigid winter temperatures stop you from feeding your composter and reducing the trash we ship to Michigan.

Although the processes slows down in the winter, food scraps and other refuse continue to break down in a composter year round, creating perfect soil for your garden in the spring.

In fact, cold temperatures are actually beneficial; the freezing action breaks down fibres in organic material, which aids in decomposition once it thaws out.

But if you're not crazy about trudging through the garden to dispose of kitchen scraps, you could try vermicomposting, which works indoors year round.

Vermicomposting involves using worms, red wigglers to be exact, in a bin. The wigglers eat about half their body weight each day and produce rich, sweet smelling compost that can be ready for harvesting in as little as two months.

To set up a vermicomposting bin you need a bin, bedding such as straw, grass clippings, dried leaves, chopped plants, dampened peat moss, ground cardboard or shredded paper and, of course, worms.

You can get worms through the mail from. Cathy's Crawly Composters in Bradford.

Once your vermicomposter is set up, you can add vegetable and fruit wastes, coffee grounds, tea bags, and egg shells.

Vermicomposting bins need to be kept indoors because the worms will not survive cold temperatures, but a properly managed bin emits no odours.

One of the main concerns many people have with vermicomposting is the thought of having worms in the house.

However red wigglers rarely try to escape since they prefer to stay near their food source. Worms breath through their skin. so if the conditions become too acidic, the worms will burn and may try to escape. This can be corrected by adding agricultural lime or crushed egg shells weekly.

Worms need a moist environment; if they do leave the bin, they will dry out and die right outside the bin, usually within a foot or two.

Cathy Nesbitt, who operates Cathy's Crawly Composters, says the most important thing with vermicomposting and regular composting is to keep adding to it.

She recommends putting outdoor composters closer to the house to make them easier to use. The composter will also benefit from heat generated by the house and shelter provided by overhangs.

Composting Candy Stores

You can get outdoor composters and vermicomposting supplies at: Cathy's Crawly Composters: or call 905-775-9495.

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Cathy's Crawly Composters

Bradford, Ontario
Local: (905) 775-9495
Toll Free: 1-888-775-9495